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Split of the year?! - 90%

rancid_amputation, February 17th, 2019

I remember browsing Bandcamp when I came across Putrid Coffin Records. They only had two albums at the moment(well technically this is a split album, but I'm not gonna get hooked on semantics). Naturally, this album has some gorgeous artwork, so it was worth checking out. And boy was it. I listened to the whole thing through while studying at first, so I wasn't giving my full attention. But still, I was really liking what kind of slam I hearing. This gave me an impression of what the album was about, so I bought myself a copy. The CD arrives soon, so for now I just have a digital version. That gave me plenty of time to soak up some slams and evaluate.

The split starts of with Agonal Breathing, who I think is the strongest of the bunch. They play a very sewer-drain style of slam, and I love that kind of stuff. Firstly, the guitars are lowly tuned and heavy as balls, as well as having a pretty crushing slam tone. The bass guitar is not very prominent, which is disappointing, but typical of this genre. I don't have any complaints from the guitars because they were done very well, aside from the bass being lower in the mix. Then, as for drums, they're very typical of slam. There is lot's of cymbals and blast-beats there. Nothing extraordinary or ground breaking, but they do their job well. My only complaint about percussion is the snare. It has a very trash can kind of sound, and I don't think it ruins anything, but I never understand why trash can snares in slam. Lastly, we have the vocals, and they hit hard. He's doing some thunderous, deep gutturals, which is also typical of slam, but when right, can be fantastic. Now, with Agonal Breathing, the reason I think they're better than the rest is because of their production, which is phenomenal, and how tight it all sounds. Whoever mixed them did a hell of a job and deserves an award. The songwriting is typical, but executed in a good way. Their most standout track to me was Victims of Rampage. 25/25 for Agonal Breathing

Our next contender is Gangrenectomy, who off the bat are much more sporadic with their songs then Agonal Breathing, in the sense that there is a lot more happening. Immediately, Gangrenectomy have my favourite track name of the whole album, with Raped and Dismembered by a Wookie. Songs like that are why slam is fun. Anyways, to start with guitars, the bass in this mix is 1000 times more noticeable and louder the any of Agonal Breathing's songs. I like that very much. However guitars themselves are very standard, and sometimes flat and 1 dimensional, even for slam. I'm not they're bad, but they could be better. Then, the drums, even though they're programmed, are decent. Sometimes downright weird, but I'm down for different ideas. To top of this cake, the vocals sound similar to Martin Funderdud(RIP), to me, which is never a bad thing. As for production, it can be spotty, but it's nothing to get worked up about. Gangrenectomy have more growing as a sound to do in my opinion, but nonetheless are still a jumpy, fun slam band, which is was I think slam should be. Average songwriting executed in an average way. Most standout track being Raped and Dismembered by a Wookie. 22/25 for Gangrenectomy

With that, we come to our third band, Pit of Toxic Slime. Personally, I think they have the most illegible logo of any of the bands. I've spent plenty of time trying to even get close to figuring out the words, and I've successfully only found the word pit. Before I go over the music itself, I have to point the flaw here. The production. It's not produced horribly, but the other bands on this split certainly have better production. I find it to be quiet and kind of muffled, which can be annoying at times. Production aside here, the guitars are slicing, and I really like their tone. Every slide on the frets can be heard, which is what I live for. Unfortunately, the bass guitar is more noticeable then Agonal Breathing, but still suffers from being too low in the mix, like most metal albums ever. The drums are pretty good, but sometimes feel too robotic and could use something different at points. Then lastly, the vocals here are much more intelligible then the other two, but still has lots of incoherence, which is important for me. The songwriting by these guys is sometimes quite interesting(once again, for slam), but it's no Abominable Putridity or anything. My favourite track would be Subliminal Genocide. A weaker 20/25 for Pit of Toxic slime, but not entirely their fault.

Lastly, we got Traumatomy. A bit more seasoned than their counterparts, having much more releases under their belt than any of the other three. I firstly have to address the vocals. I consider these the best vocals on the album. I love Agonal Breathing's stuff, but these guys know how to do it. Burpy but powerful, they cake the take there. As for guitars and bass, its all slams. No breaks. The bass isn't very audible though(seeing a pattern here?), which is disappointing again, but even with it's audibility low, it's rumbles keep everything sounding thick at least. More thick of a tone, less slicing than Pit of Toxic Slime. The drums have bouncy, intriguing moments, but sound like standard to me. At this point, you'd wonder why no one branches out and does something different for drums? Because it's slam. And I don't think progressive slam will be a thing any time soon. The songwriting sounds like Traumatomy, and I wouldn't rather it any other way. Favourite track is Compulsive Sadistic Affinity. A solid 23/25 for Traumatomy.

With all these analytics, how do these bands stack? As Varg would say, let's find out! Also it's worth mentioning I don't think that any of these bands are bad, and evaluating them like this is my way of comparing.

In first, we have Agonal Breathing, then Traumatomy, Gangrenectomy then Pit of Toxic Slime. Like I said, that doesn't mean any of these are better than other, that I don't like Pit of Toxic slime or that some of these bands shouldn't be checked out. It's just my way of comparing them and evaluating the split as a whole. and quite frankly, these are quite generous ratings for a slam album, so it's without question I think this is the best split album of the year and one of the beast slam albums in general. 25+23+22+20 = 90%

Highly recommend picking up this slab of meat for yourself. And as always, stay brutal.