Seventh Circle – Cycle of Violence
The sound is gritty and heavy and the breakdowns are not too hardcore-ish so that those 13 minutes are over quicker than you wanted. Most interesting are those moments when they take some time to establish the mood of a song instead of just racing into it. The only thing that might be bothersome is the mixing because although of course a band like this should be produced raw and dirty but the vocals are too far in the background.
Possession & Spite / Possession & Venefixion - Splits
Interesting about these two separate releases on two different labels with bands spanning five countries is that it all sounds very organic and as if this was meant to be. But the logistics and planning for this thing must have been arduous.
However, when playing both records in a row, you do not have the feeling of a loss of quality or a change in sound and vision. The releases each start with a very atmospheric intro by Possession with the second one even played on a church organ and incorporates carillon bells. Very, very good. The Belgians pursue their idea of a raw punkish sound and attitude, a high-octane version of black metal. “Stabat Mater”, the last of their six tracks total, ends in a whirlwind of drums and riffs that has mantra-qualities just before their final contribution to this duo split turns the song into an instant classic as they take up the intro from “Passio Christi Part I” again using a choir to make their songs one big entity.
The other two bands are not only bystanders but take part immensely with each giving their respective releases a different element. Spite, for example, delivers the cover song that each good split should have doing Manitú’s “Cruel Creator” in their own way, very lo-fi and very chilling. Venefixion, on the other hand, do the best thing to do after a song as good as “Stabat Mater” - they do their own piano-intro (!) and then all hell breaks loose, no barriers holding back, no hostages taken, no one left standing in their way – straightforward black metal!
As a final say, one has only very seldom heard such a coherent, thoughtful conceived combination of split series as this one!
Disastroid – 8hr Parking
And as this is not their first release but another one in quite a long list of excellent ones, it shows that singer/guitarist Enver Koneya, bassist Travis Williams and drummer Braden McGraw really know what they want to sound like – a mixture of “full-throttle, pedal to the metal” and “whirling swooshing Tornado jet”. The new song thunders like steamrolling in a Mad Max-vehicle without roof right through Los Angeles all the way up the coast with the wind rushing through your hair while tanking north on Pacific Highway 101 and then having to step down a bit because otherwise the turns and curves will not be mastered especially in Big Sur and North. If the upcoming record is as convincing as this one then we might up for something special!