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Interesting disparity - 72%

PhantomMullet, September 24th, 2011

Woods of Infinity tend to release pretty good splits and EP's between their full length works, so it was only natural to want to check out Old Ugly Trees.

The first band on this split is Arkha Sva, a band I've never heard of. Their side is quite interesting, to say the least. I've never heard such a bizarre style of music. Their two songs can easily be combined into one because of the smooth transition in style. Half the vocals here are clean, but that's only partly true! The way they are sung sounds incredibly psychotic and tortured. The vocalist has a similar style to a distorted Garm, but having the craziness of Bethlehem's infamous Landfermann from their Dictius Te Necare album. The instrumentation and production really try to put you behind the eyes of a mental patient wandering around in some abandoned asylum. That's exactly the atmosphere here. Of course, after the first few listens, the novelty wears off a bit and you start to realize that when the growls come in, they aren't very fitting and overall you just get sick of the music. Both tracks are very interesting, but they don't have the re-playability you would want to experience.

Now the Woods of Infinity side of the split can be considered to the chaser after chugging down the bitterness found in Arkha Sva. WoI's songs sound very similar to what could be found on their Hamptjarn album, that is, decent production, somewhat melodic, but still a bit strange. Actually, Pappa Satan might be one of their more melodic songs. It's got that typical WoI style with the mix of clean vocals and high shrieks, but it's one of those songs you can hum to yourself. If you know WoI, you know exactly what to expect. If you haven't heard of the band, you probably wouldn't start on this split anyway. The final track, Hjassa, isn't even metal. It's a slow song powered by chanting, acoustics, and a melancholic vocals. It's a very relaxing song, but at the same time there's a vibe of uneasiness and discomfort based on the chanting in the back.

This isn't the best split I ever heard, but the music found here is far from the norm, so it's definitely worth a listen. While the WoI half is a bit better and has more longevity, the Arkha Sva side is a lot more captivating the first time you hear it.