Ruins are first with their track Discrimen. It starts with an eerie riff and then builds in the bass and drums with a lumbering gait like some twisted swamp creature stalking its prey. This develops into a very satisfying riff that still manages to sound a little uneasy even while it’s rocking out.
The vocals are dirty and deep, sounding like some balaclava-wearing bruiser who’s only out to hurt you. These change about halfway through to a slightly more emotive sounding semi-clean and the song becomes energised.
Ruins are a curious blending of Crust/Hardcore and Sludge with even a slight hint of Post-Metal in the mix. Either way it makes for an enticing listen and I think I’ll be looking into what else this band has done.
After Ruins we get Usnea with Only the End of the World. Usnea are great band who have released an excellent self-titled début album of Blackened Doom, which I heartily advise everyone to immediately go and get. I was especially interested to hear their half of this split as at just under 6 minutes in length it’s a lot shorter than any of the songs on their album.
Their contribution is slower and more monolithic than that of Ruins; with the song seemingly dragging itself along against the burden of time immemorial.
The chasm-like vocals seem to open wide and swallow the light. They appear like fissures under the foundations of the song and it seems like it would be so easy to fall into the blackness there. Later as the higher vocals come in the massive holes in the world are replaced with piercing shrieks that cause their own no-less fatal puncture wounds.
Usnea don’t disappoint. It may be shorter than their other work but that doesn’t stop them from making the most of the playing time and ramming it chock full with Doom delights.
A highly recommended EP. Two great songs from two great bands. Seek it out.