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SIX REASONS TO KILL + ABSIDIA 'Morphology Of Fear' - 83%

HarleyAtMetalReview, November 15th, 2004

Serving as my introduction to Bastardized Recordings, Morphology Of Fear is a split disc featuring dual EP offerings from two of Germany's elite deathcore acts, Six Reasons To Kill and Absidia. The term deathcore should be taken in the lightest representation possible. Both bands, in essence, are outstanding death metal acts. The 'core' elements only come into play for brief moments here and there, in the shape of short breakdowns or squelching noise riffs. It is almost an insult to label or link these guys to anything as saturated as the metalcore scene, but they do possess certain characteristics of the style, so deathcore seems a befitting usage. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing metalcore bands under the umbrella that can certainly rip it up, and not unlike these Germans, they are not of the easy listening, radio friendly variety. The utter lack of whiny clean vocals will dismiss the bulk of mainstream listeners in a hurry.

Starting off this crushing excursion is Six Reasons To Kill. With seemingly dominant influences such as Bolt Thrower and Slayer, the same war tinged lyrical themes seethe from each of their four bulldozing contributions to the disc. The voice switches between guttural death and shrieking black from beginning to end. Each song thrashes about with violence and hatred, as pile-driving bass and drum assaults leave you battered and bruised. Guitar riffage is a perfect blend of their obvious aforementioned idols, with an overall originality that will seal their position as one of the leaders of the German deathcore sphere.

Absidia's first track on Morphology Of Fear is the prelude to ruin titled "Conspiracy Theory", a beautiful instrumental piano arrangement that is the calm before the storm. Soon after, they unleash hell in the form of a devastating sonic raping with the three raging slabs that follow. Mixing up the melodic and chaotic attributes of Dismember, Carcass, and older Arch Enemy, Absidia win my vote for favorite of the two acts on this disc. Vocals are generally of the higher toned class, a la Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates, Nightrage), but occasionally the tracks are graced with a more gargled approach similar to Jeff Walker (Carcass). Musically, all instruments are played with technicality, precision, and skill; melodic yet overflowing with an endless aggression. Bottom line: Fucking ferocious!

Much hype was placed on this split. So much, that it even received its own website dedicated to the release. That really says a lot regarding Bastardized Recordings and their passion to promote their bands. Be sure to pick up Morphology Of Fear, as well as the individual discographies of Six Reasons To Kill and Absidia.