Orfismo 'zine #15:

"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
Conozco a esta banda desde 1995 cuando compré su demo "Thus Spake Zaratustra", la cual me había gustado bastante y que conservo con un buen recuerdo. Escuchada a dia de hoy se hace "diferente" y es que los tiempos han campiado, aunque yo mas bien poco. Quiero decir con esto que este trabajo está mas enfocado para gente sino del pasado si que le tenga un respeto carinoso hacia aquella epoca, vamos que esto no es apto para modernillos.
Pongamonos en precedentes: se trata 9 temas sacados de esa citada demo, otros de una demo anterior, "Cult of the Black Pentagram" del 93 y otros de "Glory for Centuries", una demo-ensayo de 1991! ahi es nada! todo para completar 50' de un sonido maquetero a tope que le da un aura muy alejada de lo que se puede encontrar hoy en dia, es aqui donde, creo, predomina el principal aliciente de esta banda polaca, sonando plenamente aneja.
XANTOTOL toca una especie de BM bastante morbido, lento, muy pesado, incluso habrá quien aprecie algo Doom aqui, no sé... primitivo diria yo. En muchisimos momentos me han acordado a la demo o al primer Ep de ROTTING CHRIST, primeros pasos de VARATHRON o mismo NECROMANTIA por esa incesante manera de golpear el bajo. Que cante una piba me hace pensar indiscutiblemente en la Diosa Cadaveria y los primeros tiempos de OPERA IX, me gusta.
Deciros que estas 3 demos no estan al completo en este homenaje, tan solo se trata de rememorar y dar a conocer lo que fué una de las primeras bandas de BM de Polonia. Sin duda alguna una recopilacion a tener en cuenta, habrá quien le suene absoleto pero es que de eso se trata. Vosotros decidiis.

Bouzas

 


 

Orfismo 'zine #15:

"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
I knew this band in 1995 when I bought "Thus Spake Zaratustra" demo, a great & excellent stuff. Today it's 'different feeling', this is pure old feeling for maniacs of the past, this isn't for newcommers.
There are 9 songs of their old demos, "Thus Spake Zaratustra", "Cult of the Black Pentagram" from 1993 and some tracks of "Glory for Centuries" - demorehearsal '91. Cool! There are 50 minutes with an obscure & morbid, slow & primitive Black Metal with doom touches... like dead. It reminds me Rotting Christ - demo & first Ep, early Varathron or Necromantia with that powerful bass sound. The female vocals are destacabies in the vein of the goddes Cadaveria in Opera IX, it's mighty. These 3 demos are a tribute to this glorious band. One of first Black Metal hordes from Poland. A nice compilation with and old & special feeling. You decide.

Bouzas

 


 

Heretyk 'zine #3/2005:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
Wielka chwala i czesc naleza sie ekipie Kampf i Seven Gates za to, ze zdecydowali sie przypomniec ludziom dorobek jednego z najlepszych polskich zespolów pierwszej polowy ubieglej dekady. Na to retrospektywne wydawnictwo skladaja sie dwa kultowe dema - wydany w 1993 roku "Cult Of The Black Pentagram" i dwa lata pózniejszy "Thus Spake Zaratustra". Na okrase dorzucono jeszcze reha "Glory For Centuries" z 1991 roku. No cóz, zab czasu jakos nie nadgryzl tych materialów. Ba, wydaje mi sie ze wartosc tej muzyki rosnie. Po blisko dziesieciu latach wszak wciaz brzmi to smoliscie, mrocznie i majestatycznie zarazem. Najwieksza zaleta tej muzyki jest jej niewatpliwa oryginalnosc, wyjatkowosc. Te cechy onegdaj byly typowe dla polskich zespolów z kregu Black Metal. Przypomnijcie sobie Pandemonium, Taranis czy Christ Agony. Xantotol mozecie swobodnie postawic na pólce w tak doborowym towarzystwie. Obawiam sie niestety, ze mlodsza generacja blekersów, zapatrzona w skandynawskie masakro-wyscigówy, nie skuma unikalnosci i niepowtarzalnego klimatu twórczosci Xantotol. Bo ta plyte miec nalezy nie ze snobizmu, czy z jakichs historycznych czy kolekcjonerskich wzgledów. Polecam wszystkim "Liber Diabolus", gdyz po prostu znajduje sie na nim potezna porcja genialnego, choc prostego w doborze srodków, polskiego Black Metalu. Dodam jeszcze, ze jest to bardzo starannie wyedytowane wydawnictwo. W formacie digi-pack. Limitowane do 666 egzemplarzy. Long Live Xantotol!!!

Krzysiek Lapicki

 


 

Voices from the Darkside:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
When we talk about the early Polish Black Metal scene names like Graveland and Behemoth immediately come to mind, acts that would be considered as the forefathers of the Polish Black Metal (necro)sound. But not many people remember that another obscure act existed sowing the seeds of evilness and storming near the Baltic those days (early 90s)... they were called Xantotol, originally formed as a two piece act by Mala (yeah, she's a woman) on guitars and voice and Venom as drummer, later joined by Siwi on bass. With this line up the band recorded 2 demo tapes and a cassette from 1991 through 1996, with a very positive response from the underground hordes. Lately I got a promotional CD from a new record label from Poland called Kampf Records who released this compilation CD featuring everything officially recorded by the band: the "Glory For The Centuries" demo I from 1991, "Cult Of The Black Pentagram" demo II from 1991 (originally released by Witching Hour Productions, an underground label ran by the vocalist of the polish Hermh) and the self released cassette LP "Thus Spake Zaratustra". But how we can describe the Xantotol sound in a few words? Obscure, raw and very cold Black Metal in the vein of Samael at their earlier stages. As we can expect, the sound is beyond this age, so no more words about it. The release itself is amazing, on deluxe digipack format, including bio, pics, etc. I don’t really know what more to add, because you Black Metal freaks shall love this collector's item of a true lost cult (as I do).

Rodrigo Jimenez

 


 

Pagan Records Katalog # (19) 2/2005:

"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
No i slowo cialem sie stalo. Zapowiadany zbiór nagran jednej z pierwszych blackmetalowych formacji w naszym kraju ukazal sie w postaci zgrabnego digipaku. XANTOTOL wystartowal w 1991 roku, kiedy jeszcze nikt nie przewidywal co zdarzy sie w Norwegii za sprawa jeszcze wtedy deathmetalowego DARKTHRONE. Dlatego nie spodziewajcie sie, ze uprzedzil ich na przyklad XANTOTOL, gdyz gustowal jeszcze w dzwiekach tworzonych przez te wszystkie hordy dzialajace nieco wczesniej, z SAMAEL na czele. W utworach pochodzacej z Kutna ekipy slychac silne echa "Worship Him" oraz innych Szwajcarów z MESSIAH, a nawet pewien prymitywizm HELLHAMMER, chwilami zapuszczali sie tez w klimaty charakterystyczne na przyklad dla belgijskiego BLASPHERION. Ciezkie, czesto swiadomie monotonne gitarowe riffy, potezne bebny i chrapliwy wokal (jesli nie wiecie, to ich autorka, a takze gitarzystka byla Mala - obecnie podpora zenskiego bandu KAYZEN), a do tego mroczne klawiszowe intra i interludia. Na plyte skladaja sie wszystkie trzy dokonania zespolu, czyli debiutanckie demo "Glory for Centuries" z 1991 roku (zawierajace m.in. cover "Into the Pentagram" SAMAEL'a), drugi material "Cult of the Black Pentagram" wydany rok pózniej przez Witching Hour oraz firmowany przez te sama bialostocka firme trzeci i ostatni stuff pt. "Thus Spake Zaratustra" z 1995 roku. Na wszystkich slychac wypracowana przez XANTOTOL stylistyke, ale przykladowo pierwsze nagrania nie przetrwaly niestety próby czasu. Brzmia wrecz fatalnie, a i muzyce jeszcze nie do konca potrafili zagrac równo. Na usprawiedliwienie mozna dodac, ze nagrania z "Glory for Centuries" zostaly zarejestrowane na próbie, a zespól istnial zaledwie od roku. Zdarza sie to tez na nieszczescie na pózniejszych wydawnictwach (choc brzmienie jest juz znacznie lepsze), na przyklad pomylki w nabijaniu rytmu przez perkusje w "Coming the God Race" czy falsze gitary w "Fallen to Arise". "Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996" warto wiec potraktowac jako pamiatke po jednej z nielicznych naprawde interesujacych blackmetalowych grup w naszym kraju w owych czasach.

(dio)

 


 

Vampire Magazine:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
What is the use of releasing an album of a band that never made it out of obscurity, and that called it a day 9 years ago (1996). Well, for the collector’s sake of course, and that is just what this release of Xantotol's "Liber Diabolus" is all about.

Xantotol used to be a Polish primitive black metal act, inspired by Nietsche's theories (food for the Antifa, haha), who used to play slow, hulking and raw organic black metal in the vein of early Samael. Keyboards are only used as sound effects… The fact that Samael made it to the higher ranks and this Xantotol didn't, gives you a clue of which band did it better. Not that Xantotol is bad, but we've heard it all before, although a lot of that was in the period after the band decided to call it a day, haha!

I can't tell you anything about the track listing; the bio says it will contain twelve tracks, the info states all eighteen songs and my promo contains nine tracks. So for the tracklisting I stick to the official tracklisting by Kampf Records. Honest raw slow black metal, and if you want to complete your collection in case you're missing one of the demos, here's the chance! Oh yeah, how true can it be: there will be 666 copies released, hand numbered... I guess that will do to meet the demand.

Reviewed by Neithan on May 18, 2005

 


 

Psycho 'zine:

"Liber Diabouls: 1991-1996"
Nasz dawny kutnowski band wypuscil prawdziwy "the best of". Zespól kultowy, znany i lubiany. Tworzacy na black metalowym poletku od 1991 do 1996 roku. Grupa ta zawsze miala w swoim repertuarze ciezkie, wrecz monotonne riffy, miazdzace bebny, wokal chrapiacy jak górnik po nocnej zmianie. I ta plyta wlasnie taka jest. Od razu poznacie styl Malej i spólki. Te proste przygrywki Malej na gitarze nawet dzis powalaja mnie na kolana. "Fallen To Arise" rzadzi. I jeszcze ten jej chrypiacy wokal. Na solówki raczej nie liczcie. Sa równie szybkie jak reszta gitar ;) Ale to wlasnie tak ma byc.
Na plyte skladaja sie wszystkie dotychczasowe wydawnictwa grupy, czyli debiutanckie demo "Glory For Centuries" z 1991 roku, drugi material "Cult of the Black Pentagram" wydany dwa lata pózniej, a takze trzeci i ostatni material pt. "Thus Spake Zaratustra" z 1995 roku. Slychac, ze te dema byly nagrywane w warunkach polowych (np. na próbach zespolu). Jakosc nagran jest slaba, ale zawartosc merytoryczna calkiem zacna. Chociaz slychac falsze, momentami kiepsko trzymany rytm i inne drobne duperelki, to jednak slucha sie tej plyty z lezka w oku. To wspaniala pamiatka po polskim black'u z pierwszej polowy lat 90. Plyta zostala wydana w limitowanym, recznie numerowanym do 666 sztuk nakladzie. Naprawde polecam kazdemu black'owcowi. Ocena bedzie bardzo subiektywna, wiec lepiej niech kazdy wstawi swoja.

CZARNY

 


 

Ritual Murder 'zine #3:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
XANTOTOL was one of the very first Polish bands of early 90s (along with Christ Agony and Taranis) dedicated to black metal cult! It was very good band that had to offer something interesting, both musically and lyrically. They always followed their own path although heavily influenced by SAMAEL, just like most of BM bands in those times. Their music was gloomy, dark and slow, black doom metal. Another intriguing thing was their female guitarist/vocalist. I always find female growling darkly charming. Her voice wasn't probably the most brutal but she was ok. I'm glad to see someone
decided to remind this band to younger connoisseurs of Black Arts. Yes, connoisseurs, I intentionally didn't write 'fans', because average BM fan of today will take this CD indifferently. Let's be frankly, these records have sentimental value only as this was never really groundbreaking original music. It's a piece of Polish black metal history and as such has great value! But no more than that. I got just a promo CD-r but as I see it's released really fine with lots of photos, lyrics and stuff like that in a digi CD format.

 

Marek

 


 

The Nocturnal Battle of Chariots:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
No i slowo cialem sie stalo. Zapowiadany zbiór nagran jednej z pierwszych blackmetalowych formacji w naszym kraju ukazal sie w postaci zgrabnego digipaku. XANTOTOL wystartowal w 1991 roku, kiedy jeszcze nikt nie przewidywal co zdarzy sie w Norwegii za sprawa jeszcze wtedy deathmetalowego DARKTHRONE. Dlatego nie spodziewajcie sie, ze uprzedzil ich na przyklad XANTOTOL, który gustowal jeszcze w dzwiekach tworzonych przez te wszystkie hordy dzialajace nieco wczesniej, z SAMAEL na czele. W utworach wroclawskiej ekipy slychac silne echa "Worship Him" oraz innych Szwajcarów z MESSIAH, a nawet pewien prymitywizm HELLHAMMER, chwilami zapuszczali sie tez w klimaty charakterystyczne na przyklad dla belgijskiego BLASPHEREION. Ciezkie, czesto swiadomie monotonne gitarowe riffy, potezne bebny i chrapliwy wokal (jesli nie wiecie, to ich autorka, a takze gitarzystka byla Mala - obecnie podpora zenskiego bandu KAYZEN), a do tego mroczna klawiszowe intra i interludia. Na plyte skladaja sie wszystkie trzy dokonania zespolu, czyli debiutanckie demo "Glory For Centuries" z 1992 roku (zawierajace m.in. cover "Into the Pentagram" SAMAEL'a), drugi material "Cult of the Black Pentagram" wydany rok pózniej przez Witching Hour Productions oraz firmowany przez te sama bialostocka firme trzeci i ostatni stuff pt. "Thus Spake Zaratustra" z 1995 roku. Na wszystkich slychac wypracowana przez XANTOTOL stylistyke, ale przykladowo pierwsze nagrania nie przetrwaly niestety próby czasu. Brzmia wrecz fatalnie, a i muzycy jeszcze nie do konca potrafili zagrac równo. Na usprawiedliwienie mozna dodac, ze nagrania z "Glory For Centuries" zostaly zarejestrowane na próbie, a zespól istnial zaledwie od roku. Zdarza sie to tez na nieszczescie na pózniejszych wydawnictwach (choc brzmienie jest juz znacznie lepsze), na przyklad pomylki w nabijaniu rytmu przez perkusje w "Coming the God Race" czy falsze gitary w "Fallen To Arise". "Liber Diabolus 1991-1996" warto wiec potraktowac jako pamiatke po jednej z nielicznych naprawde interesujacych blackmetalowych grup w naszym kraju w owych czasach.

 

Wojciech "Diovis" Szymanski

 


 

Necroscope 'zine #15:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
Very interesting idea of the Polish KAMPF Rec. to release an with all demos one of the oldest Polish black metal bands. XANTOTOL was existed in the first half of 90's, was even interviewed in my 4 th. issue... I don't want to write about the because it should be a clear subject for every serious metal head. So I limit the review to some important details. The album contains 3 demos of the band, with very raw and obscure black metal, inspired by HELLHAMMER, VENOM and early MORTUARY DRAPE (they were in friendly contact even). Slow music, composed by use of primitive riffs, and cool vocals made by a dark lady! I remember, that I was very sad, when XANTOTOL died and today when I'm listening to the "Liber Diabolus" I have a bit similar, nostalgic feelings, he, he. Very interesting and tasty CD, since these demos were available on tapes format only.

Adam

 


 

Ancient Ceremonies:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
Having led a somewhat anonymous life alongside more prominent bands from the 90's Polish black metal scene, XANTOTOL delivered three excellent demos throughout their existence, which are now immortalized on CD. A wise decision, since the killer occult dark black metal the band performed over the years is something that is seldom heard back then, and also nowadays. Parallels can be drawn with the likes of very early SAMAEL, early ALASTIS and PANDEMONIUM, but really this band stood (and stands) on its own! Worship them!

 


 

Franang 'zine #9:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
This CD gathers the whole discography from this Polish band but this promo is only a sample from these albums. Xantotol was active between '91 and '96 and delivered some pretty original version of Dark Metal. Indeed, Xantotol mix some of the nocturnal side of the Black Metal through low grunts done by a female, which are lamenting of the gloomy side of existence, with some Doom tempos and Dark Metal guitar way of playing. Actually this band was rather exciting as they came with fresh ideas, exploring another side of the evilness through slow compositions and pondering tunes. The feeling of this recording is very sad, lamenting and depressing. You can feel a total annhilition of life in such kind of release. This genre of Metal is rather difficult to master but Xantotol can mesmerise you in embodying the deadly masks. Jump on this release.

 


 

Panzerfaust 'zine #4:


"Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996"
I think it's really great idea to recollect XANTOTOL – one of the most interesting Polish black metal bands from the beginnings of the 90's. KAMPF decided to release band's all three demos on one CD, so everyone who missed XANTOTOL will have a chance to get to know this act and others will get these ancient demos on CD finally. So, three demos - "Glory for Centuries" (1991), "Cult of the Black Pentagram" (1993) and "Thus Spake Zaratustra" (1995). Fuckin' old times, ha? I have to admit that listening to XANTOTOL today is very unique. I mean you won't find ANY bands, which are able to create such mystic and dark atmosphere as these Poles did over decade ago. Yeah, "Thus Spake Zaratustra" is the best example of it - really good sound, slow playing and these dark and mysterious keyboard-based intros, which are putted between the songs. No one plays like that today! So, it's great to get XANTOTOL at least! To give some idea, how exactly does it sound just imagine SAMAEL's "Worship Him" LP, a little of ACHERON's "Rites of the Black Mass" and ABSU's “Barathrum” (also Polish TARANIS!!!)… And of course some influences from HELLHAMMER, Greek scene… Slow and heavy riffing, concentrating on creating specific mood, gloomy, devilish atmosphere… It's just something perfect for night-listening. Of course last XANTOTOL's demo is my favourite one, but "Cult of the Black Pentagram" also is very good, slow and sinister, sometimes song is almost monotonous, but definitely it's not boring. "Glory for Centuries" is less interesting, with rather weak sound - it's rehearsal recording by the way. Songs on that demo have very primitive, simple structure and definitely aren't that interesting as newer tracks, but it's always good to get whole XANTOTOL's discography. So, I guess there's nothing more to add… if you're interested in "Liber Diabolus: 1991-1996" you already sent money to KAMPF hopefully. Remember only that this CD is limited to 666 copies, so you have to be fast!

PS. Hmm, I have some reservations for quality of the demos, "Thus Spake Zaratustra" especially. It sounds too much like MP3, with that annoying "szszszszszsz" on drums and guitars… I can understand that these demos were taken from tapes (probably?), but sound compression is just bad, with quality too low.

P666


 

Ostatnie Tchnienie 'zine #1:


"Thus Spake Zaratustra"
When I listened this tape for the first time, I recognized that it is not interesting, too climatical and too much straying from "Cult Of The Black Pentagram". However this was only the evanescent feeling. After a more penetrating valuation I came into conclusion that music at "Thus Spake...", although it is different, is interesting, more reacher from the severity and crushing heaviness of II demo. This stuff is more mature and better released. There is hearable a lot of Mala's work bringing an interesting guitar parts. Vocal, much changed by applying an effect, is surely the only fault here. The whole composition, enveloped in mistical atmosphere originating from the depths of dark woods created by Hermh, is contained in seven tracks, including "Fallen to Arise" from II demo, showing the way towards which XANTOTOL is tending.

Shadow

 


 

7 Gates Mega-Sin:


"Glory For Centuries"
Under a title "Glory For Centuries" there are collected first recordings, which came into existence about a year after band initiation. We can find here four tracks + intro and outro. The quality of this production, as easy to suspect, isn't too good, but what can be expected by stuff registered in an extemporaneous conditions?! In musical matter it is directed in side of earlier Samael and Hellhammer. A pretty big surprise appears here Mala's person, who grabbed the guitar and wearing out her vocal cords! For those times it was rather controversial and women engaging in metal music was treated variously. However there was no fault to find with Mala, because she proved perfectly correct in a band, and there's need to say more - by her person Xantotol became very characteristic and with time also, so to say, original.


"Cult Of The Black Pentagram"
September 1993 brings the first official Xantotol release "Cult Of The Black Pentagram" marked by Witching Hour Prod. from Bialystok. This time band presented three compositions + standard intro and outro. There appears a bassist in a squad - Siwy, through what band gathered more power and of course better sound, but the production stood still strictly underground. As in case of "Glory For Centuries" also here are perceptible some influences of better known bands, however they aren't so hearable, as in case of debut. Music is slow, dismal, dark... Xantotol was raising first of all the climate. They didn't created highly complicated music, quite the reverse - it were a very simple tones, monotonous, severe, but having inside something from... devil, so to say, he, he...


"Thus Spake Zaratustra"
This was unfortunately the last Xantotol's publication, it has to be however mentioned that the most properly released. It is also the most finished up stuff and the top achievement of band. Of course it is a continuation of style, which can be heard at the earlier recordings, but with more concrete sound (it isn't so severe overmuch) and production. With this stuff band cuts off from all the comparisons and it can be said that Xantotol, in the full sense of the word, worked out its own perfectly recognizing style! Music is still fluctuating around the dark, toned down, not complicated Black Metal. Till now I didn't heard anything like this, thus played only Xantotol!


Maciach