Quite a lot of news occured at the level of the split tape recently.
Find enclosed 5 new reviews.
ALTARS have found two labels for their future recording: Their full-length album will be released by Nuclear winter and Blood harvest, on CD and Lp.
The tape is still available for 2 € + postage:http://nihilisticholocaust.bigcartel.com/
DEAF SPARROW Webzine (Usa)
Back in the day we gave Altars 2008 self-titled demo 3 and a half sparrows and made a point to shed a light on their brutal skills and not so much on their claim of being an atmospheric death metal band. Now since, times have changed and we know now what they meant. Classifying Altars as a meat and potatoes death metal band, like we did back in the day, is like classifying Portal as a boring fucking death metal band. I call bullshit on myself fellas. In fact, there is a connection there, both bands do not only hail from the same side of the world, but both share some sonic aesthetics.
What we are talking about is the same curled up and twisty thing. Some may call it Lovecraftian and others opt for the word oppressive. Whatever term or adjective you use to describe what a band like Altars does is irrelevant. The effect of their music is always the same, disorientation and the uneasy feeling of having been possessed by one hundred demons. The exorcism has been performed by a dimwit, therefore you are scarred for life. As Altars’ half starts with “Husk”, it is obvious that there is nothing straightforward here. Yeah, it is all fast, it is all convoluted but is also fluent, dexterous, intelligent and well-laid out. There is also the complexity, the forward thinking structures, the intricate drum patterns and the guitars which pummel, recede and stay in the foreground most times and in the background at others, but they are always menacing. Man, how wrong was I!
Their second song is called “Descent” and is less rapid. It’s a solid an disturbing slab of sludge death metal, if you know what I mean. The guitars suppurate with crunch and the deep growls of Cale Schmidt hover omnipresent. The drumming is insane, in its own supernatural plane. First time listeners of metal who are introduced to the genre via Altars may be tricked into thinking that all death metal is this sophisticated. It is not, but Altars definitely think of it on its own terms.
Heaving Earth have a difficult job ahead of them. They need to at least leave up to the same enervating levels of extremity of Altars. A few riffs into their half it is obvious that Heaving Earth are definitely up to the task. Their style of death metal is if not as unorthodox at least as forward thinking. Can you say Morbid Angel? Sure, you can you son of a bitch. Their songs seem assembled by adding oblique riff after oblique riff, but somehow through it all, their songs come as much more straight forward. “I am Nothing” for instance, serves coiling riffs that are sectioned into passages. The drum work is puzzling and the vocals deeper than a black hole, but also a bit mundane. The skill level of the band is impressive, drummer Jirka Zajic is a monster, he drums hard and relentlessly, but also with gusto and detail.
I am always puzzled by the musicianship of extreme metal bands these days. But is one thing to have the technique and is a very different thing to make something good out of your chops. Heaving Earth have talent in spades and these two cuts show that in spades. Their cuts are exhilarating, good showing of their technical and creative efficiencies. Now, let’s just hope that both bands can make full-lengths that live up to the levels of intensity that are in display here.
Bobby Peru. 4/5
PANZERFAUST Blog (Pol)
I was very interested in getting this split tape, as it features one of my favourite Czech bands Heaving Earth, whose 2010’s album “Diabolic Prophecies” did some serious damage to my hearing and after listening session of it I had to answer some questions to the police, who wanted to know why all my neighbors are found dead (dead but dreaming!!!!!!). But OK, Gabriel from Nihilistic Holocaust came with helpful hand once more and provided a copy of “Engulfed”. This split features also band called Altars – I never heard of them before – with their Promo 2012 songs and then Heaving Earth presents completely new material from “Redemption Ablaze” promo.
So, starting with Altars… they’re Australian and play very brutal, almost grinding (not tempo wise though) at times, but also very old school death metal. The sound on their material is very harsh, filthy as hell and brutal as fuck… I really mean that. When I first started to listen to their first track – “Husk” – I was like: “Shit, have they recorded that in a dungeon or tomb or what???”. It did take me several minutes to adopt and get used to this raw production and I must be honest, I still feel like it lacks something. But the music is fine, it is extreme, brutal old school death metal. There’s quite a lot of complexity in their music, but all is devoured by that brutal and tight feeling and gloomy, deep vocals. I don’t feel crazy about Altars music, to be honest, but I like the slow parts of their music, from the other hand though this promotional material definitely lacks a better production (drums especially)… but definitely this band did manage to create an eerie and obscure, almost suffocating atmosphere, so fans of the likes of Incantation or Ignivomous, watch them! Currently Altars have been signed to Nuclear Winter and expect the release of the debut album “Paramnesia” (LP version will be released by Blood Harvest).
And now Heaving Earth… well, I already mentioned that I liked their debut CD, so I was really looking forward to hear “Redemption Ablaze” promo. And man, they did not fail. Great, tight, fast and technical death metal, in the vein of Morbid Angel, Monstrosity, Immolation, Malevolent Creation and few more, mainly American death legends. Both songs from “Redemption Ablaze” rip the guts out and I must say that I really like them both… the riffs, the vocals, drumming and the production - everything sounds great and right from the first second I felt very pleased with Heaving Earth’s music. This stuff is aggressive, is filled with pure energy and if Altars lacked that spark, which would ablaze the speakers, this Czech band did that in three seconds. And that ending part of “I am Nothing” just shreds totally, what an awesome piece of death metal!!!! Cannot wait then for the second album of Heaving Earth, which I hope those guys will do very soon.
Final rate: Altars (65/100) Heaving Earth (85/100) – overall it is 75/100
DEATH DOMAIN Webzine (Swe)
Just the idea that I in 2012 get sent a cassette makes me all warm and fuzzy (Or, well I actually didn’t get the music on cassette, but a CD+MC cover). The return of the analog is welcomed, since that’s what I grew up with. And with that said, over to the actual review….
Altars is a death metal outfit from Adelaide, South Australia. I quite like this filthy death metal that they got going on, it’s rather refreshing to hear something as organic as this in todays computer-age. I’m not really sure if I love the vocals though, that sadly are a bit too low in the mix most of the time. I love the drumwork though!
The first thing that strikes you with Heaving Earth, hailing from the Czech Republic, is the difference in production. While Altars had an organic sound, Heaving Earth has a more modern touch to them. Musically this reminds a bit of Morbid Angel with splashes of Hate Eternal. All in all this is good and well executed death metal, but offers little, if anything, new to the genre. Recommended tracks: Altars – Descent (Pramnesia, part I)
WINGS OF DEATH Webzine (Hol)
Tja, die hele retro / vintage hype zorgt er voor dat vinyl mede aan populariteit wint en daarin inmiddels een onmisbaar item lijkt te worden. Des te bijzonder is het om weer eens een onvervalst cassettebandje tegen te komen. Vanuit Adelaide, Australië vinden we hier Altars, het Tsjechische Praag bezorgt ons Heaving Earth. Deze geografisch wonderlijke combinatie is dus door Nihilistic Holocaust bij elkaar gebracht op een heuse split tape, waarop beide bands elk twee nummers aanleveren.
Altars trapt af in een wat smoezelige oefenruimte geluid. Uiteraard refereert dat lekker aan het old school gevoel, maar het maakt het niet eenvoudig om de band op z'n waarde te beoordelen. Ik heb het idee dat hun tracks Husk en Descent(Paramnesia, part I) nog niet eens zo gek in elkaar zitten. Vrij minimalistische death metal, niet te ingewikkeld, goed te volgen (behalve dat geluid dan) en met leuke ideeën. Vooral Descent is wat afwisselender en bevalt me wel.
METAL REVOLUTION Webzine (Den)
Engulfed is a split release between an Australian and Czech band. Originally released on a cassette this material is old-school in graphics, production and playing.
First band to present their music is Altars. Those Aussies unleash some twisted, abstract and obscure death metal. To be more accurate, the band plays a blackened death metal. They are presented here with only two tracks, namely; ”Husk” and “Descent (Paramnesia, part I)” but it is just enough to get an idea what they are about.
Their sound is raw, brutal and uncompromising, sounding very much like a demo recording. It has its charm, but I feel like it’s getting annoying to listen to repeatedly. Both of the songs are furious with blast beats, intense riffing and insane vocals.
Heaving Earth suffers in Czech Republic and offers two new tracks; “I Am Nothing” and “Into The Depths Of Abomination”. Unlike their fellow colleges from Altars, this Czech band is more technical yet with the similar blast beats quality riffing and bombastic song-writing. Their style of playing is fast and brutal but with a technical edge to it.
It almost felt unnatural to put these two bands together on the same split, since they vary a lot in quality. Heaving Earth sounds more mature and secure than Altars and I can highly recommend them for a listen to any fan of decent death metal. 65/100