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Incoherent, Insane & Incompetent - 50%

Zero_Nowhere, June 8th, 2010

Three bands on this split. Corpse Carving - who would continue releasing material afterwards, Twitch of the Death Nerve – who have not released anything else, and Bludgeon – who have not released anything since. Apparently sharing space with Corpse Carving is not a good move for a bands long term stability. Mincer disappeared after a split with CC as well, so by my count the 'Carving is somewhere around 50/50 when it comes to sending off associated acts.

Not surprising.

Corpse Carving lead off this split with 14 tracks and 15 minutes of their typical digitised gore/slam. Which is 2/3rds of the songs in 1/3rd of the running time. If you've ever heard them before, you know exactly what do expect: Non-existent song writing that mindlessly alternates between almost improvised goregrind grooves, slams and equally unthought out tremolo riffs while the vocalist brees and belches away on his own time. It might almost be tolerable if not for the guitar tone, which somehow manages to obliterate the bass while having absolutely no definition or low end of its own. Combined with the drums being rather high in the sound and all the short slams blend together as the note patterns go unheard and the kick drum attempts to mimic the guitar rhythm resulting in it going right over the top of it. Given how uncreative CC's riffs actually are, this might be a blessing in disguise. The programmed drums are actually the most technical part of this contribution, complete with fills and rolls. Even the samples are more coherent than most of CCs output here, coming all from the same source.

Twitch of the Death Nerve follow things up and they're by far the most interesting band here. They play an odd form of brutal death that is completely standard in structure but welds some very unusual riffs into it. Particularly when they drop the blasting and go at a more middling tempo – almost like a brutal death version of Cephalic Carnage in some ways, albeit more in terms of approach than an identical sound. TotDN also bring a very prominent bass that slaps away during the grooves and is audible even during the blasting. The counterpoint between the guitar and bass goes a long way to setting them apart from most. Vocals are a mix between ultra-low burps and high goblin screeches. Nothing special there but the low vocals possess a sense of flow that most lack. Like CC, the drums are electronic and like CC they're done with a certain amount of flair and dedication.

Bludgeon finish things out with their style of guttural slam/brutal death The usual stuff – all blasting, slamming and gurgling. Coming on the heels of TotDN it's something of a letdown. Many of the sections sound sloppy and barely on time. The guitar tone has to fight the drum machine for space during the blasts and it sometimes loses out. As the drumming here forsakes all sense of groove in favour of mechanical displays of speed, that proves to be something of an issue. The blast riffs are unmemorable and, as per usual for slam, the grooves carry on too long and sap the song of any real driving force. There is a bass but you wouldn't recognise it as one easily – it sounds like someone stepping on a used condom. A sort of dull wet slap you don't want to hear.

Overall, this is a pretty weak release. Bludgeon sound like every other D-grade slam band, Corpse Carving are uniquely shitty as per usual and Twitch of the Death Nerve, while quite good, aren't going to salvage an entire three way split on their own. If you get the chance to aquire this cheap and you like brutal death, do so just for Twitch of the Death Nerve. If you can't, just hit up their myspace or youtube some songs. Nothing else here is worth your time.