House of Wolf and Crow is a music collective primarily focusing on midwest USA/Minnesota bands, in this case, Shaidar Logoth, Herzegovinian, and Horrid Litany. All three bands contribute one song, and the split release has a total duration of 19 minutes.
We start with Shaidar Logoth and Machin Shin.
Dark, nasty, violent… this about sums up my initial thoughts when this track came roaring out of the speakers. With a gritty, underground sound that’s capable of flaying skin, the music’s blackened extremity is humbling. With vocals that scream, growl, and howl, the first half of the song is a maelstrom of excessive intensity and malignant grim aggression. At the halfway mark the violence becomes tempered by atmosphere and melody, propelling the song’s high points even higher. Ending in chaos and violence once more, this is a great track. Machin Shin is a textbook example of what makes Shaigar Logoth so damn good.
Up next is Lamenting His Reign unto Acknowledgement by Herzegovinian. The promo blurb states that Herzegovinian’s music is for fans of Anaal Nathrakh, Funeral Mist, and Marduk, so I was intrigued to hear what this song actually sounds like. It turns out this description is an apt one.
Herzegovinian play music that’s menacing and has a classic thrash influence to it in places, offering a form of black metal that combines old-school mood with new-school hyperviolence. The blast beats sound relentless when they’re hammering into your skull, even though they’re not actually as ubiquitous as they seem to be. I particularly like the section that starts just before the 4-minute mark that sounds like blackthrash mixed with a painfully discordant solo. Nasty stuff from Herzegovinian.
The split ends with Vortex Shrine by Horrid Litany, who provide us with a very satisfying form of black metal. The song is grim and foul in all of the right ways, and has the sort of lethal coating that should see it perform very well in the killing arenas of underground black metal. The song reeks of evil intent and focused terror, which the inhuman vocals portray very well. The blackened distortion powers everything forward mercilessly, while sinister melodies and malevolent moods seep into the listener’s subconscious without you even knowing what’s happening to you. Horrid Litany have impressed.
For a top quality black metal split showcasing talented underground bands, look no further than this.
Very highly recommended.