Microdose: New Splits Volume 1

Written by Carcassbomb

Splitmania! It’s time to review some new splits coming out and recently released that have caught my eye and to showcase the bands on either side. A lot of experimental music, which is the best use of a split if you ask me. Delve in and explore the bands that make each side special.

Burden Man // OTHRS
Atmospheric Black/Experimental/Dark rock
Released January 15, 2021
Via Brilliant Emperor Records

Side A // Burden Man, the Sydney based solo project that has become a trio and thus tripling the agony in the room. These two songs are lengthy and cover a lot of ground sonically and emotionally. There’s some solid black metal vocals that weave in and out of atmospheric post metal guitars, there’s crooning cleans over poignant clean fingerpicking and a few other odds and ends that manipulate the energy of the music in one direction or another, whether it’s towards being frantic or mournful. The second track is so damn smooth to start then begins to roll out the distortion and bass, the mood is palpable and dripping off the strings. They’ve found a good synergy in their expansion of personnel. I dare you to not get utterly lost in this track.

Side B // OTHRS, solo project from Melbourne. This is their side project taking time away from the ambient/black metal duo Spire, although the vocalist of that project also makes an appearance here. This is straight up melancholic black doom to play on repeat and snuff out the light of the day. There’s some very nice guitar melodies taking root in doom metal and progressive black metal, they should stir SOMETHING in you, what are you? A nihilist? The vocals are a combination of harsh growls and ethereal hums that often overlap in satisfying ways – the audio mixing has done these parts a great service. The harsh vocals are responsible for the majority of the black metal essence. It’s a really good split that I will be keeping in rotation, Brilliant Emperor are one of Australia’s best quality labels and I’m constantly finding great new Australian bands through them.

Ancestral Memory
The Sun Came Up Upon The Left // Everson Poe
Atmospheric Sludge/Black/Experimental
Releases January 22, 2021
Via Trepanation Records
Cover photo “Pastoral Moonlight” by Edward Steichen

Side A // Setting the harrowing mood for this split is The Sun Came Up Upon The Left, an experimental black metal/doom project from Oregon, Portland. Four tracks of building lament that utilises samples heavily but they’re good choices for getting in your head and breaking down your sense of safety. This is the kind of pensive music that dares you to think about those things you don’t want to think about. Yeah, that thing, the one that makes you feel insecure to the core. There’s some good effects used on the guitar and vocals. It’s bleak, slow black metal apart from the below track which is a bit faster and more spacey doom.

Side B // The use of samples returns with the first of three tracks from Everson Poe, a blackened sludge (But also many other sounds) project from Illinois, Chicago. The samples this time around are gender and mental health orientated, providing some thinking food. SO MAYBE IF YOU LISTEN YOU CAN BE SPARED WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES. These three songs are much longer and just as brooding, making the entire split a whopping 42 minutes, which in my experience is one of the longest I’ve heard since I’m so used to grindcore and death doom splits. There’s a good mix of operatic serenades, sludge grunting and shrieking black metal vocals. “Becoming Part II” is a stand out, I love the fit of chaotic blasting that breaks up the doom. Mae Shults, the sole member of Everson Poe, has a HUGE history of releasing music over the last decade, so go explore her world of audio expression. Overall a well rounded split with two artists that compliment each other well and provide a strong message.

Fumes // Thorn
Death Metal
Canada // America
Releases January 22, 2021
Cassette via Gurgling Gore Records
Check Thorn Bandcamp for CD options
Artwork by Svch Is Life

Side A // Fumes from Toronto, Ontario kick off this split in a massive way, as soon as the beat starts you know you’re in for it. It’s absolutely filthy death with that old school death doom vibe, some big swinging down tuned guitar riffs. The more atmospheric elements absolutely cut through the mix and slap the stink off your face, then slap it back on and repeat throughout both of these tracks. If you fuck with Mortiferum or Void Rot then chuck this one right now. I barely know what to say about this beyond that, it’s a straight up room wrecker. Love the artwork, very much represents the sound accurately and the two bands having logo synergy is great.

Side B // Thorn from Phoenix, Arizona is a one man cavernous death metal machine who you may be familiar with after their huge debut last year The Encompassing Nothing or perhaps their deathgrind band Xeno Ooze. They’ve kicked it into high gear with these latest tracks, it’s faster and heavier than ever and the production is MINT. Digging the lyrical content of esoteric rituals and cosmic burden, this is a must listen for fans of Tomb Mold. Heavy and atmospheric, deep death growls shouted from another planet and guitars dripping with existential dread. This is a seriously good split and it’s available on cassette so don’t miss out, Fumes and Thorn are the shiniest bands in the death metal underground right now!

Cyttorak // Revered And Reviled Above All Others
Releases January 22, 2021
Via Sleeping Village Records

Side A // Cyttorak, a powerful trio from Rhode Island. I’ve written about them a lot, I’ve even written about this split before, and I will continue writing about them because they are ridiculous. So I’m just going to go ahead and think of more analogies to make: There’s so much bass on these tracks that it sounds like a satisfying turd churning through a colon. Cyttorak is so heavy that your mum makes “Cyttorak is so fat” jokes, and Cyttorak is so fat that when they tune their guitars the whole world shakes. The vocalist sounds like the Poke’mon Muk. Seriously though, they’re a great sci-fi sludge band that draws inspiration from conspiracies and D&D. I’ve got a couple of their cassettes and they are consistently good. They have two tracks on this split including a Jawbreaker cover.

Side B // Revered And Reviled Above All Others are a mouthful of a duo from California that bring more of the violence aspect to the split. These two tracks, including a DEVO cover, are much shorter but just as nasty. Their style could best be described as anti-social, this is music to make your normie friend question the limits of what can be called music. If you take these tracks and play them in reverse they’ll probably sound exactly the same. They claim to be minimal but their volume is maximal. RRAAO like to experiment, incorporating clean vocals you’d only hear in a church as well as heavily modulated harsh vocals. You ever listen to slow doom metal and think, “This FEELS like grindcore”? then you’ve heard RRAAO. Very promising band in the world of anti-music.

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