Grindscene Records 2013
A Split Worse Than Death brings together 5 death metal bands from the UK, all relatively well known on the current underground scene.
First up are five tracks from Bury sickos ‘Foetal Juice’. Their style is probably best described as old school grind. There is a real catchiness to their music, each song tending to bounce along at a really good pace. Their intro track “Introjuice” is actually one of their longest and sets the tone perfectly for the remaining four tracks. The production the band use is dirty and suits their music perfectly and is well balanced with an ‘unpolished’ feel, but anything different wouldn’t have suited their style, they have it bang on. Their songs aren’t overly complex, but they don’t need to be, the catchiness and simplicity is what is so appealing about Foetal Juice. They are playing old school influenced grindcore and are playing it really well. The Vocal delivery is a real highlight, the ultra-guttural vocals complimented very well with higher screamed backing vocals. Genre standard yes, but executed extremely well here. Its nasty, its brutal, its old school and its very impressive.
8.5 out of 10
Next up is everyone’s favourite gore obsessed, serial killer worshipping sickos ‘Basement Torture Killings’. The London boys don’t hold back at all, from their opening track ‘Tapestry Of Putrid Genitalia’ through to their closing song ‘The White Chapel Murders’ the pace is an absolute frenzy. In fact everything about their music is frenzied, the blast beat laden drum work and schizophrenic guitars prove to be absolutely devastating and definitely the soundtrack some sickening murders. Playing at a faster pace can be a problem for some bands, finding the balance between speed and writing a memorable song, but BTK does this perfectly. Think older Carcass mixed with the likes of Impaled and Exhumed and you’ll not be far off the mark. Manic, brutal and utterly pummelling, BTK once again prove to be utterly devastating and their five tracks cannot be faulted at all.
9 out of 10
Brutal death metallers ‘Decimation’ follow on and offer four tracks of brutal as fuck death metal. Their style of death metal is relatively straightforward, sounding akin to modern day Cannibal Corpse. What really stands out is the production the band has opted for. The guitars are so heavy and every instrument has been mixed and balanced very well to the point where every song wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cannibal Corpse album, such is the professional standard attained. Their songs do sit firmly in the “mid-paced” bracket with forays into faster blast beat sections with equal measure. But, this mix of paces suits their brand of bludgeoning death metal very well indeed. All very impressive.
9 out of 10
Ireland’s 'Zombified' are a different beast altogether, their style of death metal harks back to the early nineties when death metal was raw, nasty, conceived in the gutter and belched out in sub-human fashion. Offering up three tracks of dirty and nasty old school death metal, they really bludgeon through every track with real menace and don’t let up at all, blast beats; frenzied guitars and ultra-guttural vocals really mix well together and provide some extremely nasty music. The band have an almost ‘Finnish’ sound to their music, or maybe old school Swedish death metal, but the early European influence is definitely on display. Stand out track must be ‘The Immolation Race’ as it offers up everything you’d want from horrible old school death metal – faster catchy Swedish influenced riffs; slower Autopsy influenced sludge laden sections and an uncompromising vocal delivery. Utterly nasty, but purely perfect!
9 out of 10
Closing this split cd are ‘Nailed’ who with three full length albums under their belts are the releases ‘veterans’ and don’t let down at all. Brutal death metal with a slight thrash influence, all four tracks from the band absolutely crush and demolish the listener. Not the heaviest production in the world, the band more than make up for it in the speed and blistering delivery they offer up. Each song is an absolute whirlwind of brutal and technical death metal which definitely pummels the listener at every chance. If any comparisons were needed, then Malevolent Creation springs to mind every now and again, although when Nailed let loose with the blast beats they sound much more effective. A great band to close what is a great split release
8.5 out of 10
Overall: A Split Worse Than Death is an excellent introduction into the UK extreme metal underground and each band offers up something different to the other giving the listener a really good insight into the varying styles and bands currently ‘out there’. If you’re a newcomer to the scene, or a seasoned veteran, this release is a varied and extremely enjoyable listen and comes highly recommended
8.5 out of 10