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ALTARS / HEAVING EARTH
ALTARS / HEAVING EARTH
Engulfed
(Nihilistic Holocaust)
20:13min

This is an excellent split of two heavy-weight Death Metal bands, namely ALTARS and HEAVING EARTH, offering two tracks each. ALTARS from Australia were unknown to me and I'm glad to have their acquaintance because they absolutely reign. Formed in 2005, they have released one demo "Altars" in 2008 and a split with TZUN TZUN. They perform heavy and brutal US Death Metal and what makes them awesome is that the two songs 'Husk' and 'Descent (Paramnesia, Part I)' offer a lot of dynamics and variation combined with the best of everything you can wish for. The riffs of guitarist Lewis Fisher are excellent. Vocalist Cale Schmidt delivers some perfect grunts. Drummer Alan Cadman who's also featured in TZUN TZU probably plays the biggest role here with some original fills and putting the appropriate gear to the right section to keep the stream of intensity flow faster. This guy is excellent and (just listen to the snare in 'Descent (Paramnesia, Part I)' at 0:40) both tracks belong to the greatest of 2012. The production sounds as raw as a rehearsal without losing any details and adds some spontaneity on top of the brutality. It reminded a bit of the BLOODY SIGN "The Will Of Nature" EP. Fans of IGNIVOMOUS, DRAWN AND QUARTERED, DEAD CONGREGATION, (a faster) OCEAN OF ZERO and INCANTATION ("Diabolical Conquest") should definately check this out. HEAVING EARTH are a good sparring partner and the better known of these two, offering a different approach both musicwise and production-wise, while keeping the brutality flourishing. Their style sounds like a mix of VITAL REMAINS, IMMOLATION, HATE ETERNAL and ZYKLON. Especially the guitars have a similar mania as late IMMOLATION, but it sounds solid and would go too far to accuse them of copying. The production is cleaner than the one of ALTARS but still heavy enough to blow you away. Formed in 2008, these guys have released a few demos, an EP and a very cool debut in "Diabolica Prophecies" in 2010. The vocals could use some variation and more aggression, but part from that these track 'I Am Nothing' and 'Into The Depth Of Abomination' are flawless. Their progression demands more attention and these two will make you eager for the next full-length. These guys know when to slow down and especially then, the quality of guitarist Lewis Fischer lifts the quality even higher. This excellent split on the French Nihilistic Holocaust is released on tape, but maybe for those who got rid of their decks, when the demand is high enough it will be released on vinyl and silver in near future. For more info check: www.facebook.com/pages/altars/162746229229, www.facebook.com/pages/heaving-earth/174011709288245, http://nihilistic.voila.net

Michael Tak

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