SPUN IN DARKNESS / GRAVEWURM
'Vengeance From Beyond The Grave' Split CD
Aah, the joys of the good ole split type thing. A quick check on any web metal forum will reveal at least one thread named "Fave split?" or "Most iconic split of all times?" or, God forbid! - "Pictures of your Unholy Grave / Agathocles / NunSlaughter split collection". Yes, the underground fiends mostly love these joint affairs - and rightly so, as it's usually a great opportunity hearing two bands who share the same ground / passion, all for the price of one. The journos, those good-for-nothing clueless bastards (that doesn't apply to those fine people writing for this here webzine, ha!), say the recession won't be over any time soon, so the split thingy shouldn't be bothered much for its future. Great.
Spun In Darkness was previously unknown to me but I did recognize the name of their drummer, Jeff Nardone, as he used to bash the skins back in the day for the Nevada underground cult, Goatlord. That assures a heavy and tight bottom end and off we are for a promising start already. The band isn't here to trying to challenge the sound barrier and for the most part this stays within the tried territories of early 90s doomier, mid-tempo death metal, providing just enough catchy riffs and grooves, not to forget the "gurgling glass" vocals. Granted, this isn't as "horror" sounding as the band seems to have being aiming for, but this is still creepy in its own right, and a pleasure to those ageing ears - I'd buy them a beer if our paths are about to cross before Nibiru pays the wee little visit in couple of months time. Yeah, right - publishing a zine on the web gets you free trips to Las Vegas, get off your lazy asses and start your own! "Temple To The Living God" is my pick of the bunch, followed closely by "Part Of You Becomes Part Of Me", while the cover version of Doom Snake Cult's "Carnival Freak Show" is the weakest link - way too "campy" for me, thanks. [7,5]
Dale's review of 'Blood Of The Pentagram' has really nailed the dark sound of Gravewurm and I'm glad to report there's no disappointments on their part of the split. Yet again those five new songs (plus a short keyboard intro) reek of the band's trademarked combination of sinister black metal and low-tuned death, making Gravewurm the obvious choice for those who like it sick, simplistic and slower. You can comfortably bang your head to these tunes, enjoying the subterranean, raspy vocals, the well audible bass lines and the Hellhammer-influenced, doomy fuzz guitar work, all while absorbing the atmosphere of haunted dungeons this band is capable putting forth through their music. Old-timers will be digging this and I can foresee many of them giving the horns while listening, nostalgically recalling the days of the finest black death. Ooops, Riddick's artwork had taken over my mind a bit here, but that's OK. Flesh is weak. Gravewurm are not. [7,5]