This is a split release between three modern death metal/deathcore bands, featuring one original song and one cover song from each artist. Thy Art Is Murder are from Australia, and The Acacia Strain and Fit for an Autopsy are from the US.
Thy Art Is Murder contribute the song They Will Know Another and a cover of Rammstein’s Du Hast, for a total of 9 minutes of music.
They Will Know Another showcases the familiar roars of the band’s vocalist alongside mid-paced music that uses some emotive riffs to get us going, before going full-speed ahead with blast beats and brutality. The track could easily fit nicely alongside their most recent album, Holy War, and is a natural continuation of this. However, a combination of heavy guitars and more emotive, dreamy ones take this in a Fallujah-esque direction in a couple of places, but for the most part it’s business as usual for these deathcore kings, and business is good.
The band’s cover of Du Hast is all increased extremity, with blast beats and deep growls replacing the militaristic groove and Teutonic shouts of the original. Once again, it almost has a kind of dreamy, Fallujah-feel to it in places, with soaring leads in the background almost unconnected to the main song itself. Although I prefer the original version, this is still good and I like that they’ve put their own spin on it.
The Acacia Strain offer up just over 10 minutes of music, consisting of a song named Sensory Deprivation and a cover of Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden.
Sensory Deprivation starts off like a malevolent, hungry predatory, stalking its prey with lethal intent. The song then gets a bit heavier, with a djent influence, as the harsh vocals continue to shout and roar over the mid-paced assault. The track continues in this vein, in no hurry to progress, flattening everything with its steamroller advance. At the end, it fades out and we’re done. The relentlessly heavy approach adopted by the band pays off and Sensory Deprivation is an addictive track that keeps insisting you listen to it again.
On to the cover song; the problem with covering something like Black Hole Sun is that the original is so iconic and such a stand-out song, that it’s going to be very, very hard for any band to do it justice. The solution? Stamp your own identity firmly on it by making it heavier than ever. I think The Acacia Strain have side-stepped the problem here and done a really good job – they’ve essentially turned Black Hole Sun into a heavy-ass sludge/doom song with roaring vocals that keeps the twisting, otherworldly melodies of the original and coats it all in pitch-black heaviness. Yes, yes, it’s not as good as the original, but it was never going to be, and it doesn’t matter anyway as it’s different to the original, and eminently listenable. Top work lads.
Fit for an Autopsy have the final contribution to this split release, with 9 minutes of music; their own song Flatlining, and a cover of The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails.
Flatlining is aggressive and heavy from the outset, along with bringing in a bit of melody in the background. Vocally they’re the least extreme band here, with shouted semi-cleans working alongside the harsher growls, giving them a more emotive quality. The extremity is there though, with plenty of blast beats and fast guitars to go alongside the heavier riffs. I particularly enjoyed the drums on this track, as the drummer seems to have quite a talent for working his kit all over. Heaviness combined with feeling and atmosphere? Yes please.
The Perfect Drug is actually one of my favourite Nine Inch Nails songs, so I was very interested to hear what Fit for an Autopsy make of it. As expected, it’s fully transformed into a deathcore extravaganza, all heavy guitars and scorching vocals. As with all of these covers, it’s not as good as the original, but again it was never going to be; it is, however, a rip-roaringly heavy version of the track and one that’s more than passable. The band even inject some clean vocals into their version.
The Depression Sessions is a very worthy showcase for three exemplars of modern heavy music, mixing original tracks with cover versions to great effect. Definitely check this one out.