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A worthwhile split release - 75%

MutantClannfear, July 18th, 2011

I tracked down this 2010 split solely because it was inhabited by brutal death metal band Dormant Carnivore, and as I've previously stated in one my reviews Dormant Carnivore kick ass. Since their material was on this split, I decided that I might as well get it and find out about two more bands. And overall, this split is worth the money I put into it.

First up on the split are Kraanium, who hail from Oslo. I'm not sure if it's because they realized they would have to sound pretty damn good as a brutal death metal to please a town full of people who are known for their black metal scene, but Kraanium definitely have a unique sound in their music. The guitar is comparable to Torsofuck with better production: murky, low and throbbing. Though the tempo of the music ranges from really fast ("To Fuck the Dead") to slow and plodding ("Chowing on Rectal Discharge"), the guitarwork remains a set of slow chugs, though they do concoct a melody every now and then, like the 3/4 time signature around the middle of "To Fuck the Dead". Vocally, this band sounds like a more bestial version of Guttural Secrete's Blue Jensen. His voice is much more guttural and squealing, and it lacks the natural tone of voice that most brutal death singers retain. This is, of course, a compliment, as it only makes the music more inhuman, which is what brutal death aims for in the first place. The drums are partially buried beneath the guitars, and they're not doing anything of interest anyways.

Though Kraanium are pretty primal in the world of brutal death, the next band on this split, Epicardiectomy, is one of the most simple I've ever heard. The band is essentially a Cephalotripsy clone (and I mean it - the intro to "Endocystic Regurgitation" is exactly identical to Cephalotripsy's "Aesthetic Upholstery of Molested Dead Flesh") that somehow managed to take the simple formula of slam (a genre already dumbed down at its basics) made even simpler by Cephalotripsy, and made that even simpler. The guitars are downtuned to drop O (as in "Oh gee, I need to stop making jokes about bands putting their guitars in nonexistent tunings"), the drum set is an absolute piece of trash, and the band hardly ever steps out of 4/4 time. Hell, in "Rancid Flesh Copulation", the band plays a slow slam, and then, guess what? They split the speed in half. Then they take their newly created slam and split the speed in half again. The vocals are this raspy mess that sounds like a werepig choking on a blanket. However, despite what I've said, I don't hate this, I'm just sort of indifferent about it. Yes, the guitar production could be a good deal thicker; the drummer could buy a kit without a shitty snare drum, a hi-hat that doesn't ding like a Christmas bell, and a bass pedal that doesn't sound like it's slapping a fat person's ass; and the guitarist could learn how to play actual pinch harmonics instead of swinging straight from the first string to the sixth to play a high note. But it's not terrible. I suppose I should keep Epicardiectomy on the shelf for days when I need something more stupid than Cephalotripsy, if such days actually will occur in my lifetime.

And finally, the highlight of this three-way split, Dormant Carnivore. DC don't seem to have written much in terms of new material between the time they released their demo From Russia With Gore and the time they got placed on this split. Since I've already done a whole review on the exact same DC material here, I'll be brief. Dormant Carnivore have thicker, murkier production than Kraanium, and in a way sound like Kraanium on steroids. While Kraanium's vocalist still resembles a human in some ways, Dormant Carnivore's vocalists have both tossed those standards out the window - they sound like a mix of pigs and insects here. The riffs are catchy, heavy, and in the case of the song "Stillborn Ptomaine Extraction", fast and relentless. The whole setup has very little melody at all, and the end result is one of the best brutal death metal songs I've ever heard. Unfortunately, the new song, "Viagra Doping Control", sounds more like a 30-second unmastered promo of things to come from Dormant Carnivore than anything else. The guitars are buried in the production of the large and intrusive drums. I will give it this, though: if this is a sample of a new song to be released in the band's future, it's much heavier, faster, and catchier, which is good.

Overall, this is a good split. Each band is worth at least a bit of your time, and they each have a unique sound in the world of brutal death metal. Check it out if you get a chance.

Kraanium: 26/34
Epicardiectomy: 22/33
Dormant Carnivore: 27/33
Total: 75/100