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Mesrine / Sakatat - split 7" - 90%

Phuling, January 5th, 2012

My first encounter with Sakatat surely wasn’t a successful one, and I’d go as far as saying I thought they outright sucked. But as they got their act together, got a hold of a new drummer and started recording things properly I noticed a class-A act taking shape. I’ve since become a huge Sakatat fan and I’ve been tracking down all their sold-out splits to complete my collection, and I’m almost done. Here we have the lads’ latest split 7”, and with that they’ve released seven of them so far.

As soon as the needle hits the vinyl the chaos begins. Sakatat have never sounded so potent and brutal. The majority of the vocals are now growls, and with Semih’s quite brutal and semi-gory grunt the effect of it is über-brutality. The gnarly and harsh scream intertwined with the growls makes him sound like a rabid mental patient. He’s really developed his vocals, and the result is just fantastic, perfectly fitting in with the recipe of old school grindcore. Musically it comes off as crude and chaotic, but there’s a lot of musicality behind the wall of distortion. The best example of this is the slow end of Tahammül etmek kabul etmek demek, which shows a heavy and churning side of the band I haven’t heard before. It actually bring Nasum’s Inhale/exhale album to mind, whereas the rest of the material has more similarities to the rawer side of grindcore. To name a few similarities I suppose I’d have to mention Repulsion, Warsore and even Infanticide pops up, just as the European goregrind scene does, and particularly early Dead Infection. It’s a mature and extremely intense Sakatat. It’s fast-as-hell and bloody burly, and as you pay attention the slick riffing actually has a lot to offer instead of just standard-issue riffs. Not really sure what else to say; this is simply put some of the lot’s best stuff to date.

There’s not really any need for me to present Mesrine. If you like grindcore you’ve most likely heard these Canadian serial killer fanatics. It’s a continuation of Dahmer, if I’m not mistaken, and that should also tell you a little something of what we’re dealing with here. The two tracks were recorded back in 2008, which in all honesty bring us back to a much darker and brutal sound instead of the more polished Mesrine we heard on their latest fullength Obsessive compulsive (which was still good, but unexpectedly modern). The fact that it was recorded in their rehearsal room just gives it a natural sound.

Modern void is a relatively slow song with only brief occurrences of blasting, and the track is dominated by the heavy and slowly churning riffs. Something about it all, and the drumming in particular, gets me thinking of Agathocles during their prime. This, while Chris Benoit starts off just as slowly before continuing on to a more basic grindcore recipe still reeking of mincecore. The production in addition to the deeply growling goregrunts means this is also some of Mesrine’s more brutal stuff. I love the production of the vocals, with sort of a dissipating echo (which the initial growl of Modern void lets you hear quite clearly). Two extremely brutal tracks, two really heavy and gory tracks, two killer tracks. This is how I want this lot to sound like; raw and uncompromising.

Originally written for My Last Chapter