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Shallow Graves - 67%

televiper11, January 27th, 2012

Cianide & Coffins are two bands whose names have always lurked about the edges of my metal consciousness. Both are known for their primitive barbarian bashings and overall lack of precision, polish or depth. A split 7" from them seemed like an easy and convenient way to check them both out as the format requires an automatic and immediate best foot forward. First impressions are tricky things however and my reaction upon listening was a decidedly mixed one -- the balance of power favoring one band far more than the other.

Cianide are a decidedly old-school death metal band from Chicago. The kind of band who toils in the trenches unheralded for decades yet never caves in. Their brutish, aggressive, don't-give-a-fuck attitude is a winner and the thick slabs of righteous riffage present here reward repeated attention. "Wrath Of Daimajin" is a huge tune, nothing groundbreaking or original about it. If you like grimy, mid-tempo death metal with an Autopsy-ish flavor, this is for you. The vocals are husky, dark, and monotonous but dynamics aren't of interest here. Just a pounding migraine sense of intense repetition of heavy hypnotic rhythms. Based on this track alone, I'll definitely be checking them out further.

In comparison, Coffins fall flat. This Japanese trio plays in a style similar to Cianide, which ill favors the comparison even further. Whereas Cianide's riffs were up-front and center, righteous and catchy, Coffins guitar work is an unappealing murk. The vocals are also deeply buried in the mix and not very effective. Overall, this track just came apart, dragging on at a listless pace with nothing particularly memorable about it. Once I'd listened, I instantly forgot it. Not a favorable sign.

Splitting the difference, Cianide comes up aces but Coffins drags the whole experience back down. I may never put the Coffins side back on but Cianide will be getting repeated action and further investigation for awhile.

"The Wrath of Daimajin:" 88%
"Countless Grave:" 45%
Total: 66.5% (rounded up)