This is a much longer split than the norm – 67 minutes in total with each band giving roughly half of that. It also boasts quite a striking album cover. Nice.
Majestic Downfall are first off with a crushingly heavy start to things. They play Doom Metal with a slow Death Metal influence – Death/Doom or Doom/Death, whichever you prefer.
Ready comparisons to newer bands would be the likes of Eye of Solitude and that ilk. For older bands think Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride gone full-on Doom/Death. Majestic Downfall are not a band who are totally mournful and miserable though as a lot of the riffs are more brutal or energetic and they have faster moments too.
The vocals are super-deep and the music is clear and strong. Melodies are a large part of the band’s sound and they make full use of them to produce enjoyable tracks that are largely colossally heavy but also show shading with their use of lighter sections.
With a generally more upbeat take on the genre this is a good listen and makes a decent impression.
After Majestic Downfall’s crisp energetic Doom Metal The Slow Death are like a funeral procession of depressive soundscapes. The Slow Death are a much more mournful proposition and big on proto-Gothic atmosphere.
They can be said to share similar influences and a base sound to Majestic Death but they process it in a different way and the results are therefore different as well. The Slow Death are a lot more downbeat in sound, (although they do still have upbeat moments), and the overall vibe is darker and more negative. Think a band like The Sins of Thy Beloved only with a more subtle Gothic influence.
Melodic guitars draped in misery and rotting dreams are the leading lights in this showcase of loss. The band create dirges that hold interest and have some good riffs in them.
The vocals alternate between clean, ethereal, haunting female singing and deep, dark male growls. It’s a contrast that was done to death years and years ago in the Gothic Metal style but one that’s not so popular these days. I find it makes me a tad nostalgic, even. Regardless, The Slow Death pull it off with style and it sounds almost refreshing to hear the clean female/rough male vocals trading off once again.
A top quality split from two bands who have presented two different takes on a core style. It’s especially worth getting due to the length as each band essentially contribute a mini album’s worth of material to this split.
Be sure to check this out and then track it down.