Death Vanish/Misanthropos – Split (Review)

Death Vanish MisanthroposDeath Vanish and Misanthropos are both one man black metal bands from the US, and they’re releasing a scorching new split together.

We start with Death Vanish, which has been birthed by a member of the highly regarded One Master.

Chaotic and dripping with blackened bile and venom, the aptly-named Irresistible Hatred roars out of the speakers like a thing possessed. It sets the scene for Death Vanish’s side of the split in no uncertain terms.

This raw aggression is not the only form of assault that this brand of blackened witchery takes though, and even though there’s no letup to the dark nastiness, the tracks are not without atmosphere or shading on occasion.

Most of the vocals take the form of barely audible scratching screams set in the background of the music, like some unhinged daemon clawing at reality, trying to break through.

Death Vanish’s primitive form of ugly black metal is still played with an obvious finesse, despite its spiky, unhealthy veneer. The band’s controlling intelligence clearly knows what he’s doing, whether this is a slow-building start of a track, (like at the beginning of Cryptic Repulsion), throwing out dark, blackened melodies, (my favourite of which is probably, once more, the repeated ones in Cryptic Repulsion), or truly letting slip the mask of civilised behaviour and really going for the throat, (a lot of what’s here).

This is 11 minutes of chaos, hatred, and evil. Definitely worth listening to.

After this we have Misanthropos, brought to us from a member of Morgirion. Longer than Death Vanish’s side, Misanthropos gives us over 15 minutes of fuzzy, underground black metal.

The mid-paced groove of these tracks speaks firmly of the old-school, recalling some of the grim highlights of the stripped-back second wave. The faster blast beats are definitely of this era too, of course, and these work particularly well when combined with the esoteric and sinister melodies of the guitars.

Atmospheric and full of dark intent, these three songs provide the listener with an authentic take on orthodox black metal that’s full of fiery enthusiasm and tangible menace.

More traditional and less chaotic than Death Vanish, Misanthropos’ music still shows itself to be of similar quality, albeit in a different way. I find that the tracks here are effortlessly enjoyable, assuming you have a taste for raw, misanthropic black metal, that is. I’m hard-pressed to name a favourite one, but I suppose it’s a toss-up between the groovy atmosphere of Incessant Vexation and the devastating aggression of Molten Sacrament, (which, like the other two tracks here, has got some notable-yet-subtle melodies). Having said that, the final song Tyrannic Blood is the longest here and has all of what makes Misanthropos so enjoyable in one elongated place, so maybe this is actually my favourite one here…?

Basically, this collection of evil is first-rate, and any three of these songs could be picked out as a standout track.

This is a quality split by two equally enjoyable bands playing different styles of raw, underground black metal. If you’re into this kind of thing, I can think of no excuses as to why you wouldn’t check this out.

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