Manticore, Antediluvian, Proclamation, Grave Upheaval, Mitochondrion, Impetuous Ritual, Adversarial, Pseudogod; these bands have become some of my favourite black/death acts, not only because they present material in the most quality form present, but also because they bring a sort of evil, blasphemous niche and attach it to their music, forming an impeccable wall of sheer, profane victory. The crazed masterminds behind Portal and Impetuous Ritual are once again working on their side project Grave Upheaval, and US war metal savages Manticore join forces, and as if there weren’t enough splits worth praising, they fabricate a four song split, devoid of human sense, ill natured and completely hostile against light, and all things positive. It’s such a fathomless pit that sucks you in with no regret at all, slowly consuming your pitiful cadaver and renders you naked towards the upcoming assault of converging chaos, scathing in an orgy of impious bile and vitriol.
As stated, both bands come with the whole of their most vital forces behind them, which makes the fourteen minutes a most excruciating experience. Like the latter Antediluvian/Adversarial split, despite playing a similar style of death metal, Manticore and Grave Upheaval don’t quite fit the same bill, but the slight nuances only make the split more colourful, and there’s a fairly wide spectrum of sounds that anyone should be sucked in with first sight. I honestly had no doubts about Grave Upheaval, after all, the Australian death/doom project complemented the genre hugely with their sequential 2010 demo, an asphyxiating travesty of a ritual, noxious and utterly blasphemous, but Manticore were a band that I wasn’t familiarized with very well, but in as the epilogue came near, it became obvious that both bands have something to say, and they say it well. Manticore presents approximately six minutes of bestial black/death, unlike their split-mates who offer eight minutes of hefty, dark prowess, and Mantciore’s psalms conduct a much more vivacious brand of blight and dynamic electricity, eccentric, eclectic, nonetheless still very moving and rambunctious, thus, the band espouses sounds which are more barbaric than drowning, merging together the boundless speed and aggression of Blasphemy, Weregoat, and even Watain with raw tones that many a black metal fan should be familiar with, ultimately driving the riffs towards a more metallic and blunt edge, rawer and faster.
Grave Upheaval’s traits allude the deep presence of Impetuous Ritual with every stomp, every drowsy, fatal crunch, and the inundating aura calls forth even Portal-esque elements to the table at times, making their eight minutes an experience no less tormenting than a rack. Of course, I’m sure that Winter, Disembowelment, Autopsy and Mordor had some sort of effect on their ponderous movements, their accursed swagger, and the doom influence makes all the difference for Grave Upheaval. It’s pitch black during the whole of the Grave Upheaval side, with not a single ray of light shedding enlightenment across the textures, and one guider that that effect each accent enormously, is the drums, yet another majestic wonder of the record. The aforementioned death/doom veterans had a fantastic set of cadaverous beats and punctuations, and I can safely say that the monotonous sprinkle of the toms and the ominous thump of the snare used here are nearly THAT good, and I still recall the melodramatic thumps of the ending sequence, made even mightier with the heavily distorted tone and bulbous bass line:
Da, du, da, dum; DUM DUM DUM DUM. Oh so heavenly heavy.
This split doesn’t surpass the recent ‘’Initiated In Impiety As Mysteries’’, but proves to be very worthy match and a strong contender for the top releases of 2012, too. And like its peer of a split, it divides the profane ritual into two marginally different attributes, the fast and the slow, if we need to categorize it simply. It’s choleric, strict, most blasphemous, tantalizing with subdued elements scattered all around it, and it simply swallows all that is spurious in its eye. It’s artistically crafted, embroidered with dark decorations, and in the end, it suffocates you as quickly as a heinous disease. This split may not be the most cathartic expression of black/death I’ve heard, but it emulates many of its rivals, but it’s so short that it’ll run out of material before it can even cauterize a third of many of its opponents. Otherwise, unless you’re retarded enough to neglect its impious power, get this, and you will be appeased, I guarantee you. It's all about the atmosphere.
Untitled (Second one)
Insemination Of The Sycophant
Unleashing Unholy Temptations