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I wanted to get this 7" from the moment I heard Kerberos' 'Impalement Of The Messiah' several years back. It's one of the best primitive, straightforward, bedroom-made black metal tracks I've ever heard, and I was sold almost immediately. Finally, a few years later, I managed to track this down at Pagan Flames, and I can't say the result is disappointing.
Well, okay, Sadistic Grimness isn't too impressive- they play a mildly thrashy but rather blast-heavy variety of Swedish black metal that's easy on the ears but not too compelling otherwise. It's appropriately raw and aggressive but I get tired of these sort of bouncy thrash riffs showing up in otherwise straight-up raw black metal. They're more interesting when they're playing around with rhythm and riff structuring, like in the opening of the title track of the split, but for the most part they're content to roll around the same general riff patterns and songwriting ideals that Dark Funeral has been pounding into the ground for decades now. It's decent but not particularly enthralling, which is okay, because it's not why I bought this record.
Kerberos, on the other hand- fuck! You want to hear some aggressive, fiery, malignant black metal? This Dutch pair brings it to the table in wonderful fashion. With a hammering (and obviously fake but it doesn't matter) drum machine and an array of varied riffs which range from technical to straightforward, somewhat melodic (in a hellish manner) to completely dissonant, they're always doing something awesome. I love the sneering vocals and the incredibly sardonic, mocking feel of this music; they're not just killing Jesus, they're ejaculating in his crucifixion wounds. The insistent quality of the typically thrashing drum machine alongside the infernal, biting riffs is a combination that's totally gripping throughout their three tracks. God, I need to hear more by these guys.
Sadistic Grimness is kind of a loss but Kerberos' side is strong enough to carry this release anyway. Definitely pick this up and flip over to side B for something truly remarkable; Sadistic Grimness is just a bonus.