Kicking us off with 11 minutes of very enjoyable Swedish-styled death metal is Crypt Rot.
This is quite savage stuff. Like a cross between Dismember and the more extreme side of At the Gates, there are two tracks on this release and both of them are very satisfying slices of lethal death metal.
Dark and gritty, I like how the music fuses its streamlined brutality with melodic sharpness and atmospheric appeal. This is especially true of the second track here, the seven-minute Serpentine Atonement. Whereas the first track is all teeth and barbs, the second fleshes this out with extra atmosphere and nuance, including some clean female vocals, believe it or not; it shouldn’t work, but it very much does.
This is a very impressive listen. It’s my first exposure to Crypt Rot, but I’ll definitely be checking out their previous work after this.
Cringe play a solid mix of thrash metal and hardcore, giving us 10 minutes of material that’s divided into three tracks.
This is punchy, groovy thrash with some old-school hardcore and punk influences thrown in for good measure. The singer’s harsh snarl immediately puts me in mind of 90s hardcore, while the wailing solos and jagged riffs are classic thrash mixed with something a bit more snub-nosed and brutal from the underground mosh pits.
The first two songs are instant ragers, while the second takes its time building up with a Metallica-esque intro, before getting to the chugging heart of the matter.
Overall this is a strong split from these two groups, with both bands coming off very well. Check this out and play it loud.