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For anyone who has been waiting on something to come along to match the brutality of albums such as Reek of Pubescent Despoilment, Prelude to the Tragedy, or Planisphaerium, your wait is over. Even though each band only has two songs and it can be looked at as really just a sampler, this is some seriously crushing material. Each band brings their own style of brutality and personal touches to the table, but overall it is nothing more and nothing less than an exceptional piece of work for the brutal death metal genre.
The split starts with no cheesy intro, no sound samples, but instead with pounding blasts, commanding guitar chords, and some seriously guttural vocals and does not relent throughout the entire album. Sect of Execration gets things started off right with an appropriate mix of super fast blast beats, tremelo picking, and slow, skull smashing breakdowns. I'm not talking about the tired, let's start a hardcore dance breakdowns. I'm talking about dissonant guitar chords, punishing double bass, neck snapping breakdowns. This album is packed full of slow spots where headbanging is absolutely impossible to resist.
Throughout the split, the drumming is definitely a highlight. Every band has an incredibly tight drummer, and some of the fills are among the best I've heard. Sure, every brutal death metal band has a good drummer, but these guys make sure their voice is heard throughout every song, with super fast double bass and forceful blast beats, all done with plenty of taste and variation so nothing gets monotonous.
That is something this album excels at in all categories - variation. Even though this is just a run of the mill brutal death metal release on the surface, each band has enough variation through each song to keep the listener intrigued, and headbanging. I listened to this whole release with a smile on my face, wondering how in the world anybody can make music this brutal and still keep it interesting.
As far as guitar work goes, this split is top notch. The guitars stay ultra brutal throughout, yet still have plenty of riffs that are clearly not easy to play. The guitars and drums stay very tight throughout the whole album as well, which is another reason why I think this album excels so much. It is one thing to have sick drum patterns and awesome riffs, but it takes true talent to keep everything quilted together so smoothly and craft what is truly a masterpiece in brutal death metal. I will also mention that the bass is audible several times throughout the album. This is a definite plus, and something not heard often enough in brutal death. Particularly in Godless Truth's portion and in some of Devourment's, the bass shines through and really brings a portion of bottom end that adds a whole new depth of heaviness to the music.
Last but not least, the vocals on this album make sure that you'll be sleeping with the light on for the next few weeks. These vocals are kind of standard in brutal death, but these are exceptionally guttural and disgusting. Each vocalist is capable of some seriously low growling and gurgling, and this keeps everything right where it needs to be on the brutality scale.
Overall, this is a split, so it will never go down in history as one of the greatest brutal death metal releases of all time. And it doesn't really bring anything new to the table, so if you've heard any of the bands featured or any bands like Guttural Secrete or Wormed, you'll know what you're in for. For this reason, I'm not giving it a full 100%, as it is certainly not a classic. However, this is a top notch split that displays some serious brutality and a lot of talent from every band involved. It has solid songwriting, loads of intensity, and will serve as a worthy addition to any brutal death metal fan's collection.