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Whoa... - 90%

Spawn_of_Cthulhu, August 9th, 2004

This is one hell of an album. The two bands on this split, Beherit and Archgoat, use deliciously contrasting methods to pummel the listener into the ground. Both accomplish said task with great gusto in remarkably little time.

Beherit’s portion of the album, Messe des Morts, is shrill, demoniac, and totally hateful, like a lunatic madly slamming himself against the walls of his cell. The production is high and scratchy. The guitars are shrill and droning. The drumming is very simplistic and, I suspect, programmed. The bass is only semi-audible, and the vox… are completely fucking insane. Spitting, screeching, roaring, sneering, the vocalist sounds like some sort of infernal demagogue inciting his followers to slaughter. The use of high, buzzing keyboards adds a final layer of chaos.

Archgoat’s side of the split, Angelcunt, begins with an incredibly menacing keyboard intro and a gurgling voice pronouncing an incantation. Then everything explodes. Whereas Beherit is shrill and chaotic, Archgoat are more deliberate, methodical, and crushing. They know exactly what they’re doing, and that just happens to be utterly destroying you. The production is much lower and murkier than Beherit. The music itself is very brutal, almost death metal, with standard blasting-plus-tremolo passages alternating with slower, heavier parts. The vocals are rather low, reminiscent at times of Suffocation. Occasionally, there’ll be a teeny little keyboard sample (like the bell sounds on Rise of the Black Moon), which works nicely.

25 minutes of undiluted hatred, fury, and chaos. Highly recommended.