Written by: Valkyrjiaa
Mothman and the Thunderbirds vs World Eaters
> Stoner doom / Death metal
> Pennsylvania, US / Ontario, CA
> Releasing October 28
We know it all so well: ghoulish decorations, the jump scares, and all the candy you can imagine. Halloween has always been brimming with the latest and greatest, from the newest horror film classic in the making to costume trends of the year, but this year we’re getting something downright terrifying. Mothman and the Thunderbirds and World Eaters go head-to-head on a new split EP with the showdown scheduled for October 28th, 2022.
The two bands are worlds apart stylistically, and yet their approaches work surprisingly well together in split format. Mothman and the Thunderbirds display an exquisite repertoire of sludgy stoner doom with prog metal influence. From cryptids and curiosities, the Philly-based project deepens the exploration on these mysteries by utilizing hook-loaded riffs and glorious vocal prowess. “Rusty Shackleford” comes in with a bass beat heavier than all hell, while “Nephilim” brings the pain.
The Guelph, Ontario-based World Eaters brings new member Winter Stomp into the battle, putting live drums into their music for the first time ever. The war-torn Canadian death metallers bring doom and gloom to a prophetic future basking in an already eternal darkness. “Flash of Green” emits blast beats that are as relentless in nature as a scorching sun while “The Siege” lays out the war front in plain sight and initiates battle without haste. In a particularly cool move, on the first track World Eaters feature crowd-sourced gang vocals derived from the thriving metal scene on social media, solicited via Twitter by guitarist/frontman David Gupta.
Featured on side A is Mothman and the Thunderbirds, kicking off with the aforementioned “Rusty Shackleford”. From the moment things begin we are tuned into an infectious beat, one that lingers calmly throughout and picks at the back of our brains. When it comes to Rusty Shackleford, if you know you know, and the lyrics that play on Gribble’s own creation “you can’t find me, if I don’t know who I am” are both smile-worthy and heavy on nostalgia. There’s a distinctive grind to the riff of this track that really keeps going long after this track has ended, something that digs deep and refuses to lift.
Following up is the heavy hitting “Nephilim” that cascades fire and blood with its hammer of drums and unyielding guitars. “Through ancient history, Nephilim remain,” is a line that had me closing my eyes and remembering centuries of battle, revelation, and speculation circulating from religious belief to other-worldly escape. Mothman and the Thunderbirds does a magnificent job at taking shortcut tracks, and injecting them with furious melodies and a lyrical combination that inspires us to continue our search.
Side B brings in World Eaters with “Flash of Green”. The melody is deep, like black water beyond Marianas Trench deep before guitars pick up in battle-like chaos. Lyrics are consistent, with short, quick lines that build a story quickly and still establish a foundation. “The axe, the hound, cede some ground, and wait for the flash of green,” are quick, concise lines that give an easy visual to even the least imaginative individual. Breakdowns come quick but move slow with mud and sludge pulling down the weight of the melody and letting the heaviness linger on. It’s a track that ends its lyrical display at three-and-a-half minutes before going into a demonic speech that’s downright bone-chilling. The melody, having slowed, begins to quip with thick-stringed motions before the words “rip and tear” come screaming back in to give us some downright brutal visuals that continue at the back of our sight-lines with every blink.
“The Siege” starts long, and strong—with a chaotic introduction of sound, guitars, and doom-backed bass, there’s a glimpse of knowledge on what awaits. The first few verses, “the rain comes down in heavy sheets, soil turns to mud. Erasing craters, sinking bodies, corpses caked in blood,” is absolutely ungodly. It’s a tantalizing display of utter warfare, whether brought on by memories of the World Wars or one ignited by gameplay and novels, there’s no man’s land, and the absolute hell that awaits every soldier who enters the playing field. It paints a crimson picture over the pale memory of endless siege, and the back and forth consistent in every battle executed. “Bursting organs, rending bone” vomited from the image of “shredding my tissue” are all too easy to see before you, with the scent of blood and gun powder filling your nostrils. World Eaters do a brilliant job at taking minimal lyrics and creating the visage in which they wish to portray with ease. Short, quick lines come in bursts but are precise, and perfectly performed in a way that creates a magnitude of impact whilst utilizing its melody to further their impact.
Knowing Egor Lappo worked with Alex on composing side A’s two tracks brought in familiarity. All the while Alex Snape has earned my respect for his ability to keep the mix and master clean and precise on World Eaters’ side. This split is fluid, with both artists building adrenaline in hit after hit through divine riffs, cataclysmic melody, and simple but meaningful lyrics. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, as if they were working together from the very beginning, allowing a beginning, climax, and end, while still featuring their individual talents.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So who comes out victorious in this head-to-head, all-out war? Well…we do! In a literal endless siege, this split EP brings a combination and battle that comes in with great excitement. If your Halloween couldn’t be any spookier, look into snagging this eerily intense and downright chilling EP that’ll have your neighbours calling for an Exorcism.