Palace of Worms/Ecferus – Split (Review)

Palace of Worms EcferusThis is a split between Palace of Worms and Ecferus – two US one-man black metal bands.

Both of these bands are ones that I really enjoy, and both have a history of quality releases, (check out The Ladder, Prehistory and Shamaniacal Essence), so when I found out they were sharing a split release, the expectation levels rocketed up.

Palace of Worms start us off with three songs that last just under 15 minutes in total.

After a brief sample, The Lost tears out of the speakers with a bold sound and oodles of savagery. It has an old-school Death feel to it and marks this release as a little different from the normal material that appears under the Palace of Worms banner.

The songs on this split have much more of an instant-appeal death metal influence to them, showing that the artist is more than happy to stretch himself, as if his normal blackened art was not challenging enough.

Channelling the spirits of old-school Death, Dismember and Entombed, Palace of Worms’ contribution to this split is a curious reinvention from the project’s norm, delving into old-school death metal worship that still has a blackened feel to it in places.

An unexpected turn of events, but not an entirely unwelcome one.

After this, we have Ecferus. Here we also have three tracks, this time lasting 14 minutes.

Ecferus give us two main songs, with a bridging interlude in the middle. The material on this split fits somewhere between the expansive atmospheric black metal of their full-length work and the more atavistic approach displayed on their last EP Shamaniacal Essence.

Dark riffs seem to carry partially buried melodies as the rasping vocals tear out from the soft, distorted flesh of the songs. The music somehow manages to be unashamedly old-school and progressively modern at the same time.

Unveiled with Spears is a feral beast. Transmigratory Astral Chatterings is a short, atmospheric mood-piece, while the final track Ritual Calamity is a twisted, emotive and brutal slice of darkness that’s more than worthy of the Ecferus stamp.

Both bands have contributed some enjoyable material to this split, providing two different viewpoints on extremity.

Check it out.

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