Depressive Black Metal is a subgenre of Black Metal that has been on the rise since the beginning of the previous decade. In that time, it has acquired a lot of fan following and a lot fo criticism as well. But the genre is now stagnant with bands trying to rip off Xasthur/Leviathan/Silencer and the likes, instead of trying to be original.
Totalselfhatred, in my opinion is among the bands succeed at being original while retaining the qualities depressive black metal is known for, that is, creating a desperate, soul-crushing atmosphere layered with melancholic melodies.
Totalselfhatred's sound is rather dense, as opposed to the minimal sound of most depressive bands. The bass is clear and heavy, while you can hear more than one guitar playing more or less the same thing. The drums don't play the same bar over and over again and the keys are used for enhancing the atmosphere though most of the work is done by the guitars here. The vocals are very good and well suited to the genre. Though they are not Varg Vikernes or Nattramn-style vocals which are typical of the genre, they have the right feeling to them. There are clean vocals here and there as well.
The songs are varied enough to keep the listener's interest up, though most of them have the same hate-filled atmosphere. The difference in song-writing approach is seen in songs like Spirituelle Equilibrium when the drums blast away coupled with a heavy guitar riff. Such parts with variation in mood are scattered accross the album and the band makes sure that the listener isn't treated with a boring drone of a single riff played for over 10 minutes, and I feel this is the best thing about this album.
Overall, this is a recommended album if you dig Depressive Black Metal or Black Metal in general.
Standout tracks include Enlightment, Sledge-Hammered Heart and Total Self-Hatred