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The Odd Couple - 64%

unclevladistav, June 19th, 2009

Although obviously an incredibly odd choice of two bands to put on a split, I could sort of see why Coffins and XXX Maniak were paired. Coffins represents the more serious side of the split, contributing their own slab of crushing death/doom metal (contrary to the belief of some, this is not "stoner/Sabbath worship" featuring "bluesy riffage"). It's simplistic, it's raw, and it is brutal. XXX Maniak put out twenty tracks of their own brand of goregrind, fast and crunchy.

First, the Coffins side. Coffins is now quite well known in the death/doom (be that death, doom, or death/doom) community for being incredibly prodigious in a short period of time, yet for having every release be one of quality. This split reflects that, showing that they are willing to put work into a split with a practical joke band. Anyway, this split will fit nicely into the collection of any interested Coffins fan. The guitar is just as low, distorted and brutal on this. The riffs are a nice collection of passages from both death and death/doom origins, the drums are plodding and occasionally a bit hypnotic, and the growls are low, brutal, and disgusting.

Since first reading about the antics of XXX Maniak, I had been a bit reluctant to show any kind of support towards them. They had played porn inspired grindcore before whatever partnership the two members had dissolved completely into a series of forum posted explanations and accusations ("You were never really in the band!", "You were a crystal meth addict!", "We only did it for money and hated the fans!"...ugh.). In the end, I caved because of Coffins, and here we are.

The first thing those unfamiliar with the band or the genre of goregrind (as I was, prior to this) will notice is that it's simple music. The tempo is fast, the songs are microscopically short, and the overall sound is sort of polished. Everything has a very programmed, artificial sound to it. If actually played rather than synthesized, I wouldn't be surprised if the guitar was recorded using a Line 6 practice amp and a Digitech Death Metal pedal. Drums were obviously programmed as well. Vocals are a combination of angry screams/yells and more angry screams/yells. Lyrics are sometimes as simple as repeating the title in the varies forms of yelling. The samples/titles are a joke. Samples include the courtroom sentencing of a rapist, newscasts of rapist news, interviews with rape victims...yeah, they like rape. We get it.

In the end, it's obvious which side is more favorably viewed. Coffins manages to do far less, yet still gets a rawer, much more evil sound to their music. XXX Maniak is fun for a quick listen now and then, but I see no reason to listen past the first few tracks.