Label: Nailbat Tapes
Even by the standards of extreme music, this split is pretty harrowing. Clawing blend dark ambient soundscapes with Matt Finney’s spoken word contributions, which – if you’re familiar with his work – you know means that you’re in for an emotionally heavy time. Offerbeest is one of the aliases of Maurice de Jong, perhaps best known for his work as Gnaw Their Tongues. His tracks here are no less devastating than those released under that well-known moniker, being filled with harsh noise and industrial oppression, conjured via analog synths. Hardly an enjoyable trip, then – but it’s not meant to be. Instead, it is a split that forces you to confront your demons, to face what is haunting you, throwing yourself into the nightmare and hoping to emerge on the other side.
Label: Godz ov War Productions
Unsurprisingly, for bands with such names, both Wargoat and Black Ceremonial Kult draw from the more extreme ends of black and death metal, with this split showcasing both bands’ command of war and bestial metal. Unapproachable Laws of the Abyss is a half hour onslaught of grinding riffs, skull-crushing drums, and vocals bellowed by beasts from the depths of Hell. It’s hardly original, but nor is it seeking to be. Instead, this split aims for utter devastation through sonic warfare, and achieves its goals in uncompromising style.
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.
Label: Black Bow Records
Originally released seven years ago, the split between sonter/drone/doom legends Conan and psychedelic doom explorers Slomatics is seeing a reissue on vinyl in June. It’s a fine split, and one that has been reissued several times before, but it still has a lot to offer, given that it’s the kind of record that’s perfectly summed up by the cover art of a warrior riding a snail – it’s slow, it’s heavy, and it’s incredibly powerful.
Label: Whited Sepulchre Records
The music contained on the split between Brianna Kelly and Sympathy Pain is the kind of thing that we all need within our lives; something to unwind with, to let go of our cares and worries as we try to find some sort of inner peace. Warm, and comforting, this is a split of soul-soothing ambient and emotional post-rock, that possesses a human touch and tenderness that can so often be lacking in the genres, making this a release to recommend both to those who already appreciate said styles, but also those who aren’t usually fans.
Label: Vetala Productions / Rip Roaring Shit Storm / F H E D / Fenland Hardcore Collective
Looking for something fast, loud, and ugly? Then you’ll want this split between FilthxCollins and Skinlover. Grind, powerviolence, and fast punk is the order of the day, racing ahead at absurd speeds, with riffs (and songs!) over before you barely know they’ve started. No song on here lasts longer than 95 seconds, yet both bands still manage to pack in a bunch of killer riffs and movements. If you’re having a tough time getting going before work, then this’ll help get you out of back – or consider packing the whole “employment” thing in and staying home to play grind instead.
Label: F H E D / Callous Records / Grandad Records
The metal scene in Nottingham is in rude health as of recent years, with new, exciting bands forming, gigging, and releasing records. There’s especially been a growth in the size and quality of the local black metal scene recently, with bands such as Underdark and Antre at the front of this. The new split between the two acts is a furious ten minutes of searing black metal, and demonstrates just why both bands have something of a buzz around them at present in the underground.