I love split cassettes, you never know what is going to be thrown at you. It forces you into a more open minded state and what I received from this dank split is some enchanting black metal from a bunch of grim cunts in the UK. Limited to a now sold out 50, this is indeed a neat tape to receive. Might as well get on it digitally and give it a listen.
Usurper are a volatile doom trio from Australia that often strips down to the aesthetic of a solo project, the opening of their 2018 tape Offerings is a slow build towards certain blackened doom. Something Australia does – no matter the genre – is bring a tinge of southern stoner sludge to the sound in some way. This sounds like a fetid corpse being kept alive by toxic bong vapours. To make it even better, the physical tape comes with an exclusive fourth track “Conjuration of the Four”. Well in theory it makes it better, it’s kind of an anti-track so it depends on who you are whether or not it’s a bonus.
I’m just too excited. It’s hard to write this review while or immediately after listening to this record because there is so much going on here and I react in very different ways to all of it. This is a tape sent to me courtesy of Tor Johnson Records when I ordered Cyttorak’s EP I reviewed earlier this year here. I’ve ordered from them a couple times now and it’s always great, cheap as chips as we say in Australia. Their bandcamp discog is 3.25 USD. The tapes are like 2 – 6 bucks a pop at the most and it’s always the strangest and actual esoteric stuff (what I’m all about baby). This is Sullest and their tape Fashionable Male. An adventure into hardcore pop-punk.
Splits can be done for many reasons but the ones I’m thinking of first and foremost are that they make for a great promo package for labels and is a great way for bands to put out music that just isn’t very long. It can also be a good way for multiple bands from one scene location to reach globally. Might as well put in with another band or two rather than add filler to create the new EP or LP. Perhaps they want to experiment with another genre or something like that too. The split is a utilitarian format for these reasons and many more. It’s collaborative and if all goes well, it’s a lot of fun. I’m always more likely to stick around for a B side if it’s just another bands A game.
Sumeru are a Australian and they play some serious stoner metal with a lot of variety, It can be doomy, and it can also be progressive. The music, production and presentation is top notch. This tape is quite alluring thanks to the cover art by Paolo Girardi who I covered recently for his artwork on Abominate (2019) by Firespawn. I always enjoy being able to collect cassettes from good bands who also use good artists, hell it’s practically the premise for my collection. The band’s name is probably a reference to Mount Meru which “is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes”.
One of my all time favorite Rollins albums, probably only second to Life Time (1987, 10/10 easy), stoked to have it on tape. This is such a strong release with so many quality tracks, high impact lyrics and groovy-aggressive riffs. You could just as easily start this tape on side B if you wanted to, the last half of the record maintains the momentum steadily. Love the photo on the inlay pictured below.
Rearranged With A Twelve Gauge was released this year with complete disregard and the current scenes: it’s old school death in an awesome and ignorant way. I enjoy brutal death metal a lot and this has a galloping pace and vocals somewhere between old Cannibal Corpse and Dethklok. B
I knew I was in for some grindcore but I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. The deal with this project is that if I can, I will listen to an album for the very first time on tape. It’s a great approach that leads to a lot of surprises and discovery. There’s things you just don’t notice or care about digitally because our attentions spans are just fucked when we’re given a screen. There’s quite a few vocal techniques used throughout the tape – even at one point offering a howling heavy metal scream which completely caught me off guard. Combined with the great use of comedic samples there’s a lot of appreciate here, most of which seem to be taken from films, sitcoms and Australian radio shows. They all sounded super familiar to me but I can’t quite place them, I suspect the opening one is from Reno 911.