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In kommand of their kraft - 76%

gasmask_colostomy, June 12th, 2018

I should say firstly that I came to this split through the Abigail side of things rather than due to knowledge of Winds of Genocide, since I unfortunately keep thinking of Winds of Plague every time I read that band name. Also, I'm not interested in crust at all, which is a pretty big feature in the English band's sound. As for Abigail, I still can't quite figure out these Japanese loons, seeing as the actual music they produce is twice as ugly and ten times as punky as what you would imagine from the description of black thrash, particularly as Yasuyuki Suzuki's vocals have never progressed past the point of an angry witch shouting at her neighbours. What attracted me to this particular release was the fairly extreme title and frankly very nice cover art, which features an undead satanic WWII pilot wielding a katana - probably inspired by Abigail's obsessions, but also bearing some resemblance to the latest Winds of Genocide album artwork, since the black and white theme is the same, as is the main figure of a corpse.

However, the greatest surprise is that most of the tracks on the split are exclusive to this release, something that has rarely been the case in Abigail's extensive history of sharing discs with other bands. One of the songs is taken from WoG's Usurping the Throne of Disease, that being 'Into the Darkness of Eternal Nuclear Winter', while 'Hell of Destruction' was originally released by Abigail with the album Sweet Baby Metal Slut, though it wasn't a track on the main album. So, out of 10 songs, getting eight new ones sounds like a good deal! The two bands don't match up too closely in sound, so this is more about exposure than anything else, WoG taking the lion's share of the time with seven songs, some of which are under two minutes.

I much prefer the moments when death metal dominates in WoG's sound, since the slow crush of 'Plague of Devouring Pestilence' has a thick droning power to the guitars that is a great partner for Kat Shevil's impressively grim vocals. During the faster songs, there is an unfortunate tom sound that penetrates the dense mix and reminds me of workmen hitting something that echoes...again and again and again and again. This is most evident on 'Procession of Spectres', which has a long section of repeated pounding on said tom, though it also crops up in other songs too to less detrimental effect. My overall impression of WoG is generally a positive one, possibly verging on the sound of Swedes Bombs of Hades, who splice genres in a similar manner. Apart from the slower long song I mentioned earlier, I enjoy 'Reaping the Blood Harvest' a great deal, especially when the tombs of Swedish death are opened up midway, after which a frontal assault swamps the listener.

Abigail's tracks are less complicated in many ways, using a lot of distortion and ugly black metal vocals to form a punky tribute to bands like Hellhammer and Sodom. The three-piece make use of bass-heavy grooves in the same way as other classic trios like Venom, Motorhead, and Sodom, of which the first name is probably the most apparent reference, even if one can hear the point where they all mix as well. Speed is a frequent reference as opposed to actual thrash, with riffs on the two longer songs rattling through nicely. 'Suicidal Warfare' has slightly more complex tempo changes and superior riffs, so gets my nod for the best sample here. However, that's not to deny the neat soloing in 'Black Fire of Darkness'.

In the vast pantheon of Abigail splits and the comparatively insignificant realm of Wind of Genocide releases, this must rank highly not only due to the preponderance of original material but also the generally good quality of the content. This would certainly be a good place to discover the Brits and a "safe" first venture in the Japanese minefield of Abigail.

-- May Diamhea's feat of 100 reviews in 7 days remain unbeaten --