CVLT Nation
Top 6 Splits of 2011

Here is the question: do you enjoy epic awesome hellbent blackened crust that could burn off the wings of an angel? If the answer is yes, then you must seek out the split between ALPINIST/MASAKARI, coming out via Halo of Flies for North America & Alerta Anitfascista for Europe. I must admit, I’m finding it really hard to keep my excitement from distracting me from this review. Both bands have grown so much in an extreme radical way since their last releases. I also feel that ALPINIST/MASAKARI totally inspired each other to rip shit like never before, basically they amplified everything that makes both of them awesome by 600%. Let’s talk about the ALPINIST side first – they created 7 songs that are just drenched in metallic urgency that will awaken all of your senses. Honestly, this band’s songwriting skills are so tight it makes you wonder how the fuck do they do what they do, because their tunes have so many gnarly ebbs, flows & twists. So imagine this: if Fugazi was genetically modified with the rage & sonic mayhem of Anit-Cimex, His Hero is Gone & Jr.Ewing, the end product would almost be close to how sick ALPINIST are on this split. Take songs like “Unwanted Encore,” fucking fury on steroids; it will punch in your grill with killer beats & snarling guitars for like the first 20 seconds, then these hands of mercy come out of no where to heal your wounds from their audio onslaught! When I hear ALPINIST’s songs, certain words come to mind like “cinematic crust,” because to me their songs are mini movies filled with drama, tension, emotion, tragedy & always these great endings. I get this vibe that the band is on a mission to change how punk is heard & they are doing a damn epic job. Although on songs like “Instrumental,” you can hear that they have a really open mind & are willing to bend sound into something interesting & new, that’s why I will always dig where these humans are coming from.

Next up, the blackened storm riders MASAKARI. I will tell you right here, right now: these dudes do not fuck around on this release, it’s like they woke up every morning while recording this split & ate gun powder for breakfast. They put all of their rabid angry into every second of every song, & even the mellow parts to their songs have a sinister vibe about them that will make your jaws tighten up. Huge drums, sick crusty basslines & nuclear riffs is what you are going to get when you blast “Progress” – wow, this song is so fucking epic. It has a rad quality about it, like it feels like you are in souped-up car that takes off with only speed as it’s master, then gets carjacked by an orchestra conductor. The reason why I say this is because of the intense changes that band will put you through this tune, which makes it a great work out. MASAKARI solos & riffs on this split seem inhuman, with this ultra wild manic quality to them…be careful, because they will get you hyped enough to smash a riot cop in the head. No matter at what stage of fury one of their songs might be, MASAKARI always maintains massive amounts of the blackened melodic groove in their songs. What will always make me admire this band is the way they work their conviction & emotion into every note of music they create. Go see ALPINIST/MASAKARI when they come to your town or city this summer, you will not be disappointed, but you might need a neck brace the next day, you’ll be another victim of bangover! One last thing, it’s sort of weird calling this a split, because in actuality, this record is a mammoth lesson in unity!

[audio:|titles=ALPINIST Unwanted Encore]

[audio:|titles=MASAKARI Trapped in the Mold]
Next Five Splits after the Jump!

Number Two
Certain labels offer you a certain kind of sound, & it’s rad to have labels you know you can always count on to put out splendid shit. For my raw American black metal injections, I dig the way that RHINOCERVS always comes through with quality product. One of their most recent releases is a split tape between Odz Manouk/Tukaaria; both of these bands show & prove to the highest degree! I can’t front, Tukaaria destroy boundaries with the way they create their type of black metal. Yeah, it’s primitive as cave drawings, but it’s also cycodelic & experimental without being corny at all! What stands out to me is their guitar work, it’s fucking phenomenal. It reminds me of an executioner’s axe whipping through the wind. Tukaaria are masters at creating deviant melody with different layers of angst & demonic harmony. It’s their punk rock underbelly, wrapped around the stench of death, that really makes me say, fucking hell this band is super. Tukaaria are also necromancers in the way they reach out & touch me with corpse hands that are filled with disgusting emotion, and the touch is warm with hate despite being dead. One thing that Tukaaria does not lack is originality – their songwriting skills will get you hooked & you will want another dose! Odz Manouk is on some next shit too, from the very first moment of their song “The Scavenger,” you will be forced to hear what I mean. The strange noises that are a part of this song are a total head fuck. They offer a demented dash of melody in this composition, plus there is this eerie feeling of cold-blooded rage that will draw you in. The real glue to the song is the cyco sounding choral voices that come in & out of “The Scavenger”. “The Sloth” starts with a rad sleazy riff that will have Satan’s helpers banging their horns in unison. Right before your ears the songs transform into ancient evol with almost a doom aura, plus the vocals on this track a murder unto themselves. Actually the ultimate slaughter happens when the song speeds up into the degenerate whirlwind of untainted anger. Odz Manouk/Tukaaria wreck fucking shop with this release, everything about it makes me want to know my primal self more.

[audio:|titles=Tukaaria Mythology]

Number Three
Dirge, unearthly unreal pain, uncaged anger all swirl around me as I listen to the extra rad new split between Seven Sisters of Sleep & Children of God. The 12 inch came out this week via A389 Recordings. Both of these bands have come to create 24 minutes of rancid rage that will shake your insides! Children of God is a band that CVLT Nation has been digging since we started this zine, and after hearing their three new songs, we are only going to be representing them harder now. Their sound seem to be morphing into this crazy ugly monster who is slowing down, but just as sinister as before. Children of God are building thick walls of tortured bass around their murder beats. If they wanted to, they could run your ass over with speed, but it’s when that decide that they want you to die slowly that you will taste danger. It seems like the singer swallowed a giant pill of I don’t give a fuck before he went into the vocal booth, and his delivery is pure power. Children of God’s songwriting is so awesome because they have no rules for the way they construct their songs, which brings the chaos to your face even more. Their tones give a sense of being buried alive before your are dug up by unholy drumming. I know for a fact that when Children of God record their full length, the world will know this band can’t be fucked with!

What do we have here? Seven Sisters of Sleep doing what they do fucking better than ever! This band has taken blues, SST punk, doom and hardcore, and put them into a huge pot of FTW, then turned the flame up high until it’s all boiled down to their caustic sound. Is SSOS a heavy band? Hell motherfucking yes, and they come with mammoth riffs! For three songs on this split, they pound the listener with an atomic rhythm section that opens into catacombs of black resin-filled groove. What I like about these songs is that as much as they allow you to expand your high, they also give you the courage to punch a cop in the grill. Seven Sisters of Sleep are rad because they can southern fry a riff, then turn the same riff into sonic speed! I dig the way this band uses melody in a harsh way, and you feel their soul in every second of every song. Seven Sisters of Sleep are a kick ass band that puts the right amount of emotion into their songs. Unholy hell, their vocalist has a style all of his own; it reminds me of when I first heard ODB bust a rhyme unique.

Number Four
Soul has a new sound in the form of a very heartfelt split between DC’s Vestiges and Indonesia’s Ghaust. This record will attack you on a emotional level for sure. I really dig the idea of both of these bands working together, it makes total sense. The Vestiges side is a 10-minute mammoth musical ride that is filled with power, tranquility and self-awareness. Vestiges never stops amazing me with how they incorporate so many different musical genres, but they do it in a way that is highly intelligent and original. The beginning of the song “VI” reminds me of walking in Seattle at six in the morning, before the sun is up, thinking about how awesome nature is and how just the sight of it can help us overcome some of our inner sadness. Vestiges creates songs that are perfect backdrops for the human condition. Their music has an ultra heavy vibe about it, but underneath the band has buried the sun, which shines through from time to time. The way that Vestiges wrote this song is spot on, because of the different audio waves that you will encounter while listening to VI. These huge somber notes kick the song off, then they are joined by brooding vocals, before the songs changes shape into a charging horde of radical sound waves! There are so many journeys within this song, and the best way to know how epic they are is by listening to the song itself! Then you have the two songs created by Ghaust, “Amongst The Ashes” and “Sleep and Release,” both of which are extra awesome. Here is a band that says it all without saying a word, just by injecting your brain with dose after dose of cosmic melody. Honestly, “Amongst The Ashes” has the power to change the way that I feel about the world around me. Ghaust creates monumental music. I don’t want “Amongst The Ashes” to end because I’m engrossed in the way that the bands works with melody and evokes spirits with their audio tapestry. Then you have “Sleep and Release” – this song will wake you up, something about the tone of this music makes me realize that our dreams filter our world. There is light in darkness that can be celebrated, and that’s what I feel that both Vestiges and Ghaust did with this split.

[audio:|titles=Vestiges – Ghaust Split – Amongst The Ashes]

Number Five
Who kick authority in the balls then punched corruption in the eye & broke the legs of oppression the dynamic duo of CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE & NESSERIA. Together these two bands put out one of the sickest splits of the year & it was released on Throatruiner Ṙecord.What’s ultra cool about this record is that both band are masters at sonic destruction but each one them approach the killing of ear drums from a different angel.CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE from denver creates music that should be the sound track for apocalyptis .It’s fucking insane how heavy this band is every song has this uber thick wall of desolate bass that just punish you every second.What impreeses most about their bass sounds is that they have so many layers of hate but then dig deeper then you will hear the murder groove which just pushes each song closer to the edge of insanity.CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE combine genres to come with a sound that shape shifts i would say every ten seconds.At one point the band pushes your brain into the mud of sludge then breaks out their grind core sledge hammer to whack you over the skull.I can not forget that they have no problem knocking you in knees with a brick of doom plus they brake their crusty razors for some blood letting.On their opening track Opaque CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE creeps up on with this dirgy bass before blasting into onslaught of grind damage that will leave your spinning.These are wizards at changing tempos which can be heard on their tune Wrinkled Claws that starts off almost at a doom pace but morphs into 6 different audio beasts.The vocalist for this band is super rad he sounds like cannibals ripping flesh off of the bone & enjoting every minute of it.CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE also has thse weird catchy riffs that infest some of their songs & they will embed themselves into your memory for sure.
[audio:|titles=Throatruiner Records – Split -CTTTOAFF Opaque]
[audio:|titles=Throatruiner Records – Split – NESSERIA Mercure]

Next up is NESSERIA these humans dismantle fury & rage then put it back together laced with diseased death.They also rewrite the handbook when it comes to tempo changes i’m going to chalk that up to really epic song writing skills.NESSERIA kills shit with these really emotive riffs that drenched in hate but still have rays of hope in them.I swear that their guitar tones are speaking to me saying the world better wake before there is nothing left.This band is smart because they know the power of melody with all of their speed their songs have load of depth.NESSERIA draws into their world with use of blackened hate that pours out of every note that this band puts out.To me it sounds like their riffs are cooked in an oven of chaos they soaked in “get the fuck out of our faces before we hurt you”.I do not think it’s possible to listen to this band & not hear the conviction that they command from themselves.On the real if you want your this split is gnarly & gets better you can download here for the high price of FREE!

Number Six
What happens when two bands with strange names come together to create an awesome neo-folk 7″? The end result is the split between FATHER MURPHY and HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK IF A WOODCHUCK COULD CHUCK WOOD? out now via AVANT! Records. The FATHER MURPHY song “Jesus” is a haunting, slow-dripping tune that swirls your inner demons into a hypnotic state. The receptive female vocals have an occult chant-like quality that sounds like storm clouds floating above our heads as the spirits of the past glide around us. The sparse musical arrangement is powerful; the organ and the thunderous sound effects give “Jesus” an almost apocalyptic vibe about it. The one instrument in this song that sets the tone for all of the ghostly melody that surrounds it is the drums that seem to be in time with my heartbeat!

HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK IF A WOODCHUCK COULD CHUCK WOOD?’s song “Humpty Dumpty” is a somber tune, full of melody that suspends your thoughts in a sea of blackness. The guitar work on this song is fucking pure magic and it is as solid as granite. This band’s vocals are straight mesmerizing, the singer’s deep baritone voice is rad and captivating all at the same time. This song is awash in reverb, which creates an aura of fog rolling over the hills as the sun is about to rise. It’s the emotion you will hear in this tune that will make it one song that you will not be able to get out of your head! There is one problem with this split – not enough music! I have to keep hitting repeat…I want more!

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Sean Reveron

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Top 6 Splits of 2011"

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Green Destroyed

First 2 are dead on, especially Tukaaria/Odz Manouk- I’ve been listening to that religously lately. 2 of my favorite bands now…