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First side nearly mandatory - 74%

Noktorn, June 19th, 2011

An hour of this? Kind of ambitious, guys, don't you think? I mean, I love my death/goregrind shit as much as the next dude, but a straight hour of it can get pretty trying- especially when one band badly overshadows the other. In this case, it's the first which obliterates the second; Mixomatosis' brand of Impetigo-worshiping deathgrind gets totally murdered by the ugly, turbulent, gore-splattered death of Holocausto Canibal, and much to Mixomatosis' chagrin, they're placed second on the CD. Ouch!

Holocausto Canibal opens up with their side, and god damn is it brutal. I seem to recall earlier material by the band being in a more straightforward, somewhat grooving style of goregrind, but the material on this split is definitely heavier on the death metal. And it's a surprisingly technical breed of death metal, too; quick, darting, dark tremolo riffs move with razorlike precision despite the sloppy, primitive guitar tone, adding an undercurrent of subtlety and flavor to what otherwise might get lost in the shuffle. Holocausto Canibal plays a heavily goregrind-influenced form of death metal, coming out in the murmuring, grotesque vocals and the surprisingly intricate, catchy drumwork, but with a more defined style of riffcraft dominating the sound. Hints of Colombian tech death pop up, with nervous, shimmering riffs that sound like they come off an Amputated Genitals record peeling out amidst more oldschool ones which almost sound like leftovers from old Morbid Angel. Don't get caught up in the band's name- there's a lot going on here.

Mixomatosis is a lot more straightforward. Playing an oldschool, primitive breed of death/grind heavily influenced by Impetigo, the vocals are more babbling and incoherent, the playing sloppier, and the songwriting more stylistic and less precise than the previous band. There's more of a sense of humor at work here, with goofy high shrieks piercing the rocking strummed riffs and sloppy, inconsistent drumming scattering like buckshot over the bulk of the music. The guys are clearly having a good time and just feel like giving tribute to some of their influences (as made obvious by the plethora of cover tracks that open this band's side,) but ultimately there's just not enough personality to their style and Mixomatosis are easily trounced by the more defined and interesting music of the first band.

It's not even a competition here: Holocausto Canibal obliterate this record with their unique and surprisingly infectious style. I wish I could say a bit more about the music from both these bands, but it's really just about as straightforward as it seems; neither Holocausto Canibal or Mixomatosis are attempting to convince anyone who would ordinarily be turned off by the lovely cover art sported on this split, so it's only dedicated death and grind freaks who are even going to have a chance to hear some of the interesting elements of these tracks. If you're into sheer brutality, blasting, and grinding riffs, though, there are much worse items to pick up.