There have been some really cool split and 7” releases put out this year that I’ve only recently become aware of and since your average split or 7” is generally short and to the point, I’ve decided to compile a few short and to the point reviews in one post for convenience and a bit of fun. Please, feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything else that should be checked out in the comments section of this post…
Deiphago – XCIII
First up is anti-Christ Filipino war metal maniacs Deiphago and their 7” EP “XCIII” which dropped back in February but I was unaware of until just last week. On display here are a brief 41 second intro track and two tracks of blistering chaotic war metal that sounds like Bestial Warlust taking a vacation in the Philippines. Lots of blastbeats, crazy riffs, undecipherable vocals and lo-fi production are what you can expect from these guys, and honestly; I would never expect anything else from them. Both songs are killer and this is a very worthy purchase for your bestial vinyl collection.
3.5/5 Good stuff, but I’m not quite convinced it lives up to their latest full length.
A split between my favourite Mexican band and my favourite New Zealand band? How did I miss this one when it dropped back in September?!
The two Morbosidad tracks are exactly what I’ve generally come to expect from this Mexican horde: straightforward bestial black/grind that’s fun as hell and doesn’t muck around with silly gimmicks or blatantly ripping off Blasphemy or Conqueror.
The Witchrist songs are just as good as everything we heard on their excellent full length “Beheaded Ouroboros” but a bit more on the straightforward death metal side. It’s a lot more stripped down than the full length was, but it fits in well on a split with a band like Morbosidad who stick to the whole “no bullshit, just metal” attitude and it’s nice to hear them doing something like this after releasing such a dense and crushing full length. The second song, simply entitled “II” is the longest on the split and takes the cake as the best track.
5/5 both bands are at the top of their game and this split is proof of how relevant each of these underground hordes are.
Cruciamentum/Vasaeleth – Eroding Chaos unto Ascendant Flesh
Time for a change of pace and some crawling mid-paced Incantation worship of the highest order. Here we have two of the most solid up-and-coming young death metal acts doing the whole “ancient dark death metal” thing. Cruciamentum from the UK and Vasaeleth from the states.
nyone who has heard either band will have a bit of an idea what to expect here; from Vasaeleth, it’s all about distortion soaked thick doom laden occult death metal. This track is a bit weak compared to some of their material but still a very solid track either way and I’ve got no complaints about it. The Cruciamentum song is a bit cleaner than what they have put out so far but still dark and heavy as ever. The biggest change on Cruciamentum’s part is the vocals, which now resemble more of a Bolt Thrower influenced mid-low range growl that sits comfortably higher in the mix than on previous efforts.
This split isn’t exactly gonna make waves among the underground crowd but it’s a solid release with two good tracks and my only real complaint is that it left me drooling for more from each band.
Keeping with the trench of ancient and dark sounding death metal, we come to a split between two incredible bands; Australia’s Grave Upheaval and Encoffination from America. I’m telling you right now kids, this split is not for the faint of heart…
Both bands deliver a unique brand of ritualistic occult death metal that crawls along at a snails pace and suffocates the listener under their intense musical weight. Each of the two songs on this split reek of filthy blasphemous crushing terror. This is one for the true death metal diehards only.
4/5 A bit pricey and painfully short, but absolutely crushing. One of the heaviest releases I’ve ever heard.
Cerekloth – Halo of Syringes
This dropped back in July and I had no idea until I unexpectedly came across it while browsing Hells Headbangers not long ago. Denmark’s Cerekloth really impressed me a couple of years back with their debut EP “Pandemonium Prayers” so it goes without saying that I purchased “Halo of Syringes” instantly when I found it.
“Halo of Syringes” is a MASSIVE departure from the early Deicide worship the band conjured on their earlier release, which is a good thing indeed. The band have undergone a complete change in direction, one filled with dissonant and eerie riffs played at lumbering paces, sinister cackling vocals that reek of the manic Attila Csihar in the midst of a heroin bender, well thought out drum patterns and an overall aching sordid vibe. And that’s just the first track! The second song “Shattered Hourglass” is a rerecording of a track from the earlier EP and it still reeks of Deicide worship but now the song actually fits the band and doesn’t sound like a generic death metal filler (so in other words, it doesn’t sound completely like a Deicide song anymore). The outro track is a very clean and soothing instrumental track when compared to the other two tunes, think of an early Katatonia interlude and you get the idea.
5/5 These guys have progressed a ton and truly caught my attention with this release. I’m eagerly awaiting more.