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Sacrificial Slaughter/Enfuneration Split - 85%

Orbitball, January 28th, 2012

Sacrificial Slaughter is a band that should be more well known and I trust that they will be in time. They dish out some awesome death/thrash that's very worthy of mention. I think that musically, the band has enormous potential and hope that they can get on a bigger record label soon. They sure have the talent to rise above to higher levels. I enjoyed what they had to offer on the death/thrash front. The band members for Sacrificial Slaughter are Steve Worley on vocals, Necro Nick on bass/guitars/backing vocals, Viking James on guitars, and Bryan Roth on drums.

Musically they're highly advanced on their riff structures. The guitars are thrash metal sound based and the vocals fluctuate between low burly type with occasional backup screams. Songs such as "80 Proof Justice" plus "Acid Reflux" are some good tracks to check out. All of their songs on the split are good though. Again the guitars sound awesome and are very distinctive. The leads were highly technical with occasional use of the tremolo bar which fit in well with the backup rhythms. The music on their end overall was highly unique, not some burnt out band with lagging guitar components. A lot of crunch distortion to the axes.

Production wise all of the instruments were well mixed and nothing was left out. Both guitars meshed in with quality, the bass you could hear very well, the vocals on both ends didn't drown out the music and the drums were also very well heard. This band plays awesome death/thrash that's more on the thrash metal front with the vocals on a more death metal end. No complaints on my end for any of their songs. I think that the music was the highlight of the split. They really get you in an energetic frame of mind because the music is highly well played out and with played out with vigor.

Enfuneration plays some solid death metal with more of an emphasis on the guitar rhythms for quality. The band members are Dave Thompson on guitars/vocals, Bryan Nikkel on guitars, Bryan Carman on bass and Rodney Cochran on drums. This band like Sacrificial Slaughter has enormous potential. They really put forth some quality songs especially "Insidious Domain" and "Endless Suffering". I'm also hoping that they get on a more well known label because of their awesome potential in the death metal genre.

Musically, the guitars have some very unique and intense offerings that stick in your head because they're quite memorable. The riffs range from slow tempo paced ones to a more technical output, especially during the vocal outputs. The vocals are diverse. Some really low tone throat with some screams, but not a whole lot. I'd say that the highlight of their end of the split were the guitars. They were tuned down to create a very low end heavy sound. The leads were technical and very well played out.

My only beef is with the production/mixing on their end because the bass was barely audible, the vocals not turned up loud enough to hear over the guitars and the sound quality was a bit raw. The guitars on the other hand were the highlight of the release. Very impressive work on their end with the songwriting. A band that will grow very big if they keep up with the amazing riffs. Very difficult rhythms and leads which are if you're a guitarist like myself and would have a very difficult time keeping up with.

This split CD overall was highly enjoyable to hear quality death/thrash by Sacrificial Slaughter and pure straight forward death metal by Enfuneration. Both bands like I said will rise above their current label as long as they stick with the quality songwriting. Enfuneration needs some better mixing though despite being a well played out again on the guitar front. Sacrificial Slaughter on the other hand had some quality mixing where nothing was missed out. Definitely worth checking this split out because it's 42 minutes of extreme metal that's purely noteworthy!

Ghouls in a grudge match - 72%

autothrall, November 12th, 2011

Two ambulatory corpses facing off with crude weapons. Two bands facing off in an unmitigated showdown of hostility. Fortunately, the winner is the listener here, because both Californians Sacrificial Slaughter and Oklahoma's Enfuneration bring the riffs along with the bloodshed, the energy with the evisceration, and the grisly charm amidst the concussions. American Death Thrash is all too accurate the title, because at least for the first half of the split, that is the hybrid being performed.

Sacrificial Slaughter are the more experienced of the two, having formed a decade ago, shifting through tons of personnel, and issued a pair of full-lengths in 2002 and 2009. Their material is the brighter produced here, wrought from chunky thrash tone, brutal and pissed off layered vocals that remind me of the old Deicide duality, and a lot of youthful vitality. The drums are intense, so much that when they hit that brick house double bass sequence in "80 Proof Justice" they almost steal away the whole mix, but the guitars are dense and violent in the vein of the Canadian Razor's 1988 epic Violent Restitution. They definitely incorporate the death influence through the vocals, but also from a few of their more clinical riffs like those that open "Compound Fracture" or burst through "Acid Reflex" on tremolo cocaine-lines beneath the ominous, echoed vocals.

Enfuneration are more of a pure, brutal death metal outfit, sort of a mix of Krisiun, Deicide, Malevolent Creation and Suffocation, but no less exciting even if the production of their tracks comes out a lot more primitive. Sick blasting, hoarse and bloody gutturals carved through with descending tremolo riffs and a ton of dynamic shake-ups. Straight from "Insidious Domain", the onset of their half of the split, they juggernaut the fuck out of the listener. It wouldn't mean much if they couldn't compose the riffs to back their blunt force, and even if they're not the most original band on the block, I found their contributions thoroughly entertaining, especially the closer "Grieving Process Denied" or the scorching "Stygian Darkness".

In all truth, I wouldn't say that either of the bands was writing the sort of instantly memorable, sticky material that could thrust them into the spotlight, but both are seasoned, tight and they keep the pacing both varied and frenzied. The vocals are well done but not entirely distinct, and the leads and drumming are great in both cases, so it's just a matter of strengthening the core note progressions. That said, both bands bring an ample punishment to the point that I could not choose a favorite among them. Even though their respective sounds have been beaten to death, they manage to bring a fresh and invigorating edge to the proceedings, and there's simply no chance of becoming bored anywhere among the 42+ minutes of material.