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DEAD CONGREGATION / HATESPAWN
DEAD CONGREGATION / HATESPAWN
Split
(Nuclear Winter Records)
10:13min

Greeks Dead Congregation master speedy Death Metal, rending you into a ponderous mental state of furious and relentless agonies. Choppy beat switch-ups and dismal dark riffing incite the nauseating sickness of real Death Metal played by real players who relish, amongst other sundry oppressive qualities in their sound, the odd-felt pinch-harmonic bends of some classic death bands; in this case, most particularly, Incantation. Germans Hatespawn kill alike with some very powerful real Death Metal execution. Excellent mood and some melodic soloing emerge through slogging slow sections. Of the two acts, the vocals of Hatespawn are more varied and captivating, while, in a series of progressively slurring deliveries, sound something like a more guttural VADER. This is an absolutely killer split all around, hugely recommended for Death Metal freaks. For more info, check out www.nuclearwinter.cjb.net, www.myspace.com/nuclearwinterrecords

Lem Lycurgus

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DEAD CONGREGATION / HATESPAWN
DEAD CONGREGATION / HATESPAWN
Split
(Nuclear Winter Records / Enucleation Records)
10:02min

There is no other band for which I more eagerly await new output than I do for the reigning masters of Esoteric Death Metal, DEAD CONGREGATION. After releasing an excellent MLP followed by an utterly flawless full-length album, DEAD CONGREGATION have returned with two tracks for this split EP. The first of the two, 'Perennial Blasphemous Affliction', was apparently written several years ago, but the band declined to use the song feeling that it would disrupt the cohesiveness of those prior recordings. 'Subjugation', the second track on the DEAD CONGREGATION side, is an alternate mix of a song from the "Graves Of The Archangels" LP. Anyone familiar with these albums understands that DEAD CONGREGATION meander with agility through various stylistic spheres, and in doing so unfold their vision in a manner unlike any other band. On this EP, however, DEAD CONGREGATION exercise tight control over their product. These tracks are strictly an onslaught of violence. The band permits itself to indulge in a mix that is significantly rougher than they have utilized on their other recordings. The result is a more pure and distilled representation of Death Metal than DEAD CONGREGATION have thus far produced. Whereas, on their albums, the band strives to demonstrate their versatility, here DEAD CONGREGATION seem to be out to prove that they can also play straightforward Death Metal better than just about any other band and still make it sound as if they have reinvented the genre. Although more chaotic and dissonant than their prior work, these tracks are nothing less than tremendous. There is no wandering about with these songs; DEAD CONGREGATION simply set the course and refuse to deviate. For their side, HATESPAWN contribute a single track entitled 'Of Unspeakable Cults' set among an excellent intro and outro. Hailing from Germany, HATESPAWN have an even sparser discography than DEAD CONGREGATION yet deliver a solid presentation on their side of this split. The song on HATESPAWN's side of this EP is a frenetic array schizophrenic Death Metal. HATESPAWN settle into passages within the song only long enough to engage you before the song unravels around you once more and the band has diverged into a new corridor. While the individual parts of the song never really stand out enough to claim for HATESPAWN an identifiable stylistic niche, the overall composition demonstrates their reliance upon a certain dexterity within their songwriting intended to command the listener to follow each of their various excursions. I have never heard any other HATESPAWN material so I cannot speak to how this recording fits into the context of their other work, but what this song does present is sufficiently intriguing to inspire me to try to track down their other releases. In its totality this split EP is a fine work of Death Metal. The cover, the insert, and the music all retain their adherence to tradition without suffering from stylistic stagnation. www.nuclearwinter.cjb.com

Jason Campbell

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