Mares of Diomedes start us off with two songs of bastard-heavy metal, lasting 13 minutes.
This is fuzzed-up and harsh, with colossal riffs drenched in distortion being unleashed like they are going out of fashion. With memorable stoner/doom metal riffs, a fat sludgy sound and very tasty vocals, these two songs are remarkably catchy and memorable.
The vocals consist of a couple of different styles of shouting; one lower and one higher in cadence. The former style is quite venomously harsh, while the latter has a similar quality to that of the Conan singer; an unusual cross between singing and shouting. Alongside the rugged music the vocals make for an earthy, authentic brand of doomy sludge.
Having not encountered Mares of Diomedes before, they have really impressed with their half of this split. These tracks are full of character, riffs and stand-out music.
Favourite Track: Earth Destroyer.
After that, we’re on to Dreich, with what is apparently their debut recording; 21 minutes of sheer grimness and misanthropy.
Yes, here we have even more fuzzed-up heaviosity, and like their split-mates, this is heavy, dense and full of nasty, crushing distortion. Walls of guitars assault the listener from the off, fashioned into snarling riffs that obviously just want to crush you.
The vocals are mainly deep, guttural death metal growls. These are added too here and there by higher screams, and even some backing semi-cleans on the second track. The death metal vocals are particularly satisfying, and coupled with the sludgy music, it’s an impressive ruckus that the band cause.
Like their split-mates Mares of Diomedes, this is another band I haven’t heard before, (unsurprising really, considering it’s their first release), and they too have very much impressed with this collection of murky, hate-fuelled sludge metal songs.
Favourite Track: Where Do They Hide?