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A Split Worth Both Its Sides! - 80%

WinterBliss, January 14th, 2008

First off, for a split there is a lot of material here, which is a nice change, compared to common one-to-three song offerings that typically make up most splits. There is an hour of music here which I find to be a plus, which at least makes you feel like your money was well spent.

Crebain plays a style of black metal that has many elements of the typical depressive one man band, but fortunately the band also contains many elements which these bands don't possess (particularly the super distortion of bands like Xasthur and Draugar are plagued with). Crebain certainly isn't groundbreaking, but the style that Ancalagon the Black( what a stupid name) plays is carried out pretty well. The first song on Crebian's side is a solid song, good repetitive and somber melody and simple repetitive drums. It's the second song, Legion, where things really pick up. It's a lot heavier and faster, not typical of these depressive bands; and contains some pretty sweet riffs( check out that part at 3:12, it's pretty fucking epic and seems more like something you'd hear from a death metal band rather than a black metal band.) The third song is pretty boring up until about 3:26 where the boring mid-paced thrash riff stops and a pretty catchy black metal riff that carries the song until the end. I'll avoid further track by track breakdowns, but much to my surprise Crebain switches up styles from depressive black metal, to a more thrash black metal, and occasionally a more Marduk inspired sound. My only real complainant with Crebian is the lack of depth, each song seems to be so simple and that once you've heard it once you'll never find something new about it. Crebain's side gets an 75.

Leviathan brings more of the same of what Wrest does best. This is far from his strongest release, but it's enjoyable. There's a good mixture of ambiance, atmosphere, aggression, and some melody in the songs chosen. Where Crebian typically goes for catchiness and accessibility, Leviathan is all about the atmosphere and mood. The Leviathan side defiantly requires a bit more attention than Crebain's offering, which can make listing to this split as a whole a bit jarring. With Leviathan's side you get 4 very good black metal songs, one good ambient track, and one bad cover of one bad song. The weak point of Leviathan's side is the cover of VON's Blood Angel. I don't know why anyone likes VON, and on top of that I can't begin to see the reason anyone would cover VON. If you're unfamiliar with VON, it is some of the most simplistic, repetitive, and boring tripe you'll ever hear. This release would be a lot better if this cover wasn't part of it. Aside from the dismal cover, Wrest does a good job at creating some unique and enjoyable songs. This split is essential for any fan of Leviathan. Leviathan's side gets an 85

Overall this split is worth the money. It's enjoyable and multifaceted. It might serve as a good introduction to the USBM scene as well; or just as some solid piece of black metal. In total the split gets an 80.