Three Swords Records 2014
Side A: The Infernal Sea - Tannis Root
Side B: Old Corpse Road - The Sockburn Worm
Two of the UK’s most promising black metal acts, The Infernal Sea and Old Corpse Road, have been brought together on this split 7” release, two dramatically different takes on the genre but both promising a very high standard if previous releases were anything to go by.
The Infernal Sea kick things off with ‘Tannis Root’ which begins in a mournful fashion, building a morose atmosphere before blasting in with a barrage of hate-filled and scathing black metal, melodic in essence but played under a torrent of blast beats and faster, scornful guitar work. The song never really lets up in both pace and attitude and when the band does play at the higher paces they begin to sound a lot like Dissection and Enthroned in equal measure. Production wise, it’s quite raw, but this suits the style of music perfectly. As the song fades to its conclusion, the morose atmospheres that introduced the song return, feedback buzzing in amongst the haunting and swirling vocals and the eerie baby cries, great stuff (8 out of 10).
Side B takes no time at all in introducing itself, OCR blasting in with their uniquely atmospheric brand of black metal. This new song, 'The Sockburn Worm' follows on perfectly from the bands previous album, which was praised so highly here at UKEM. Fans of the band will know that they have so much going on in every song they write, and the same can be said here. Vocals vary from high pitched screams, to death metal growls, to chants to spoken words, they have it all and it has to be said, each variation works well with the music. Add in the keyboards and the acoustic guitar passages, and not to mention the dramatic black metal, then you can’t fail to be impressed. The song really gathers pace and momentum as it draws to a close, the haunting chants sitting really well alongside the faster black metal and blast beat section as the song concludes. Yet again, OCR prove their worth as leaders in the UK Black/Pagan metal underground (8.5 out of 10).
Overall, this is a great release from two fantastic UKBM bands, definitely one for fans of both bands and collectors only however. If you’re unfamiliar with both bands, then this wouldn’t really be the release for you to become acquainted with them both, you’d really need to listen to previous albums and e.p's with more songs on to truly get to grips with their music. One song from each band just doesn’t seem enough; such is their appeal. That said, it’s still a fantastic, limited edition release that comes highly recommended.
8 Out of 10