Death Kvlt Productions | 10-1-19
This is not new as this split was released in June and is seeing a 12″ release from Death Kvlt Productions. Gravkväde wouldn’t be considered obscure nor I would guess no one would consider them mainstream as their 2018 full length was supported by Avantgarde Music but if that means nothing to you then here we are. Gravkväde’s melodramatic black doom has finally found a prom date by the likes of Deadlife, a depressive black metal act whoese rain wall guitar tone is a fitting contrast to the glacial pace of Gravkväde. Its a party on this split and Im glad no one else is here.
Self Released | 11-6-18
Welcome to the horror show with two bands from Texas making music that sounds like the crawling chaos of mental collapse. Both bands, Haunter and Crawl have spent the bulk of the last few years releasing impressive collaborations and splits with LVTHN and Sovereign. This recent split is to commemorate the tour both bands are undertaking which will bring them around my area which will allow me to spend a Wednesday night in the depths of darkness. Haunter plays a style of black metal suitable for a labyrinth filled with monsters while Crawl sounds like drowning in a swamp while being pulled beneath the fetid water. Both are horrible and utterly fascinating. So just to be clear the songs available on this split are two songs (Gilded Medulla/Echo-Chambered Corroboration) credited to Haunter while the last (At The Forge of Hate) being from Crawl. I felt that I needed to make the distinction as splits on Bandcamp can be a toss up of what is featured. Also the music is swirling and inverted so it is easy to get lost.
Blood Harvest | 4 -20-18
“Whatever goes to Hell…stays in Hell.” What a great fucking way to start a split of rotting death. The Ordeals / Daethorn split is more a promotional tape to showcase talent represented by both BLOOD HARVEST RECORDS and HELTER SKELTER PRODUCTIONS. The Bandcamp is presented in true underground fashion with one track being three songs running continuously. The cover art is also hilariously on point int erms of design that I am just having a blast partying in this morgue.
It is not until the second “track” in the Ordeals side that things sort of lock in place for this split. While “Night of the Ghoul” is a great opener in its chaos and decorations, the opener for “Dark Slumber” allows the full extent of this split to be seen as its riffs and classic aesthetic is overwhelmingly fun and effective. Ordeals is death metal fitting into a door half its size to it takes some of the wall with it. It is the definition of nasty which has people problems.
French black metal does not sound like it would fit onto a split full of rotting death. Daethorn is a one man black metal act who has been around since the late 90’s making all of two demoes. Aside from engineering work with Antaeus and various stints in bands like Merrimack and Purge, this artist has kept on the dark side of recognition. In fact the Daethrorn project breaks a 15 year silence with the release of this split. For all intents and purposes, this small split is the return of a feiry black metal sound that seems to run on the fuel of hate and despondency. While French black metal does not seem like a perfect fit for the opposite side, its sound is a perfect compliment to the anti social nature of this whole release.
Self Released | 2-13-18
I do not know why this makes sense but it does. The split between Lord Rot and VHS allows one to experience two different types of horror. This is why I have constantly praised the ideas of split as you are allowed the opportunity to come into a release that is curated by more than one band. For the most part the aesthetic is aligned and in other cases, it is the synergy between two types of horrors which sets the tone.
Lord Rot is a Scottish based one man death metal band whose sound is bleeding into black / thrash metal with all of the flourishes indicative of a full pice outfit. The two songs belonging to this act are not only electrifying but sharp as a rusty knife that is being waved as a threat. This split acts as the first release in a few years following a successful EP all the way back in 2015. This is most likely due to the fact that James Mcbrain is also behind the more renown Hellripper whose 2017 release Coagulating Darkness was the toast of the underworld. The Lord Rot project is similar just with more pulp / slasher flair.
VHS stands for Violent Homicidal Slasher though I feel the band loves the nostalgic acronym as horror movies and Video tapes sort of go hand in severed hand. The VHS side of the split is dedicated to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with 4 songs and about 5 minutes devoted to Leatherface and chainsaws. If one was looking for irreverence and the sound of tripping while watching horror movies then VHS just might be the insane time you need.
Rämekuukkeli-levyt | 2-1-18
…and here we are in some far flung corner of the world with a three way split of things that may or may not be metal. I do not think it matters as it is 100% effective. I adore not only the quest for weird and caustic thing but also when there is a breakdown between genres to achieve an end goal. The Cold Case split is a three way collaboration with three Finnish underground acts whose seems united in their own unorthodoxy.
If there was any track to catch attention it would be RUTSA with its bombed out landscape of noise and terror. Outside of the aesthetic of harsh noise that populates the air like a swarm of hornets, the structure of the music is a churning machine of broken gears and mechanical fluid. Further investigation into the band’s demo tapes reveal a similar sound but without the level of abrasiveness present in this recent split.
I could not find the selection by CICUTOXIN in any streaming form though the band’s sludge / doom seems fitting for the collaboration. POHJAMUTA, on the other hand, does have their song available which is horrifying amalgamation between sludge and some sort of rabid punk which sees vocals screamed with irreverence and tensions wound tight around necks. All three make up a motley crew of Finnish underground acts which seem to pledge to the same monstrous god which lives in sewers and in runoffs next to graveyards. The unaligned seems to be a theme with a split that can certainly be used to scour the grime from metal.
Third Eye Temple | 12-18-17
Before beginning, I want to acknowledge the cover art/layout for this split as being one of the coolest covers of the year. Though I am confused who did the cover since the Metal Archives has the personal sort of mixed up, the artwork looks similar to Fenomeno Design which did Barshasketh’s 2015 album. I know someone is responsible and it fits aesthetically with this split. Even if this is just a rearrangement of classical artwork, the colors and layout are phenomenal and is something I want on all covers of metal albums.
Xenoglossy Productions | 11-3-17
This is a weird split. weird not in a grotesque or horrible way but more in a creeping sense of uncanny atmosphere. Xenoglossy Productions is a newish label from Italy representing a slew of underground European acts. One of their missions is to hammer out a visual style to unite all of these releases under one aesthetic banner. Until this happens, most of the releases on Xenoglossy range from the odd to the bizarre with the Illuminated Manuscripts / Deathvoid being a solemn photo of a canopied bed. Again nothing outright and shocking just a growing sensation that not everything is right.
11-24-17 | Ván Records
If the swirling and cacophonous introduction of “Indoctrination of Deaths Command” is not enough to get you in the mood for complete obliteration, then I do not know what to tell you. Miasmal Coronation is a split with two new and relatively unknown black / death outfits from Germany. with an embrace of war themes and a sneering disdain for most things living, this split is a ferocious explosion of anti-human sentiments.
Iron Bonehead | 06 – 09 – 17
Reviewing an Iron Bonehead release feels like cheating since this label is legendary for being consistent with their output. Not only does this label find and support great acts, but their status only grows with each release. This is why a split from two up and coming artists isn’t much of a find but rather a sure bet in the gambling parlor of the underworld. Continue reading
Self Released | 6-11-17
I think I have made mention of my aversion to doom. My hesitance for the genre doesn’t come from my disdain of the sound rather the glut of bands who play in the formula of the style. This isn’t an anomaly in metal as I gravitate towards anything black or death which plays in the genre. Doom and sludge do not interest me as much and aside from this personal preference, there are a few which break through my prejudice. If a band sounds like it was birthed in the bathroom of a shitty dive bar, I am there with outstretched hands.