Review: Slaughterday / Phantom Corporation – Split

Label: Bastardized Recordings

A short split, this one, but one filled with a lot of power. Crust punks Phantom Corporation team up with German death metal beasts Slaughterday for 11 minutes of  devastation; there’s no real sophistication here, just riff after riff after riff. It’s a split for those who like their music uncompromising and unsubtle – but also without really testing the boundaries of either genre. One for the purists, then, and taken as such, it’s hard to disagree with what either band offers.

Unsurprisingly, given that they share their name with a song from Mental Funeral, Slaughterday sound a lot like Autopsy. ‘Severed Funeral’, right from the title, is clearly a homage to the masters of old. There’s a familiar sense of dirt and dried blood to the production, whilst practically every riff and movement within the song could have been written by Autopsy themselves during their early days. As such, it’s hard to judge Slaughterday on their own merits beyond that of clear Autopsy worship – which they do a great job of. It’s a fine song, but the band come across better on their full-lengths, which follow a similar path, but the longer duration of those records give Slaughterday more chance to put across their own personality than a single track like ‘Severed Funeral’ does. Still bloody crushing, though, and if this is your first introduction to the band then it’s certain to leave you wanting more.

Phantom Corporation, by contrast, play crust that recalls the early days of their chosen genre – fast, nasty, with hints of melody in amongst the brutality, all played at a tempo that borders on grindcore at points. The riffs race by at a million miles an hour, and whilst neither of their two tracks – ‘Border Wars’ and ‘First World Unrest’ – even remotely challenge the genre’s rulebook, they do provide an ample demonstration of how powerful and energetic the style can be when you stick to the basics and do them really, really well. ‘First World Unrest’ in particular is an absolute rager, with its short guitar solo and palm-muted leads sure to set off utter carnage when played live.

This is a split, then, that demonstrates the value and strength of sticking to the basics; that demonstrates how, even after over 30 years since the genres first came in to being, there’s still plenty to be said for simply writing quality songs that don’t challenge the boundaries of crust or death. This split is a concise, 11 minute kick up the arse, and testament to the power of heavy music.

Split is due for release on 18 May 2018, and can be pre-ordered on vinyl via Bastardized Recordings, and digitally via Bandcamp.

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