Backslider / Nimbus Terrifix: Split

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Backslider / Nimbus Terrifix: Split
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Backslider / Nimbus Terrifix: Split
Grindcore, Hardcore
Give Praise Records
May 17th, 2011
Release length: n/a
Backslider Myspace
Nimbus Terrifix Myspace
Backslider and Nimbus Terrifix are both underground “fastcase” acts signed to the underground label Give Praise Records. The label brought these two bands together to put out what is to be a punishing split vinyl release. Backslider hails from Philadelphia, PA, and Nimbus Terrifix hails from neck of the woods in the Scranton, PA. Since both bands are rather close and within playing distance, this split release immediately sparked my interest and I was very excited to see what the bands had to offer. Sadly it did not quite live up to the expectations I had going into it.

First of all, the EP was sent digitally in MP3 format, but the tracks were not cut up and lined out, so sometimes it’s impossible to accurate gauge when a song begins, and when a song ends. Instead, the files are simply the songs clumped together with one track being Backslider, and the next being Nimbus Terrifix. This makes reviewing this EP a little harder, so bare with the lack of exact song titles in the review. So, let’s look at Backslider first. The contribution stems roughly five and a half minutes, and the start of the EP actually has a bit of a Doom or Stoner Metal vibe to it, which is a rather interesting, though very deceptive start to the release. The production is actually pretty raw, leaving the music to sound rather muffled and muddied while the vocals are lower in the mix and come off as your typical Hardcore shouting. Musically, there really isn’t much of a difference between the tracks, though what sounds like “Marrow Turns to Dust” does go into a slower section then “Sadistic Sack of Shit”, offering up a little more of a unique sound, and what sounds like “Shallow Victory” dragging in with the aforementioned Stoner or Doom Metal vibe to it that the start of the EP, presumably “Steady Diet of Vitrol” had, being a much slower track that grows even slower, and never really going anywhere as it rings out with random cymbol crashes into a more upbeat two-stepping track that I presume is the song “Jerusalem Syndrome”. The slower elements that give the Stoner vibe do still sound rather similar, but do manage to have enough of a unique vibe to them to make them stand out a little more from each, and since that’s what composes most of the material here, it makes for a decent listen without as much repetition as the faster material gives off.

Nimbus Terrifix, however, makes for an odd approach to the music. Clearly stemming with some Hardcore and Mathcore influences, the band seems to bring in more of an Emo approach at times. “Deadbeat” is a rather chaotic Mathcore sounding track musically with a Hardcore attitude, though the vocals sound very whiny in the long run. It immediately ends and slams into “Roaches”, a much faster track that focuses on some Deathcore with a stronger technical approach to the music with the higher pitched shouting that one might expect from a Mathcore release, and luckily not continuing that whiny approach. Around three minutes and maybe fifteen, twenty seconds in, it somehow seems to make a switch into “Scranton Trinity”, which is another technical offering that is quite enjoyable, having an underlying catchiness and groove to the song that compliments the technical Grindcore sound. “Broadcast Booth” seems to have a strong Punk presence to the song, utilizing more Punk or Hardcore riffs and two-step then the other tracks. The most notable element of this side of the release is that the production is far better, being clearer then Backslider, but still capturing that muddy production sound that adds to the overall intensity of the music with a very loud bass presence that really does help, though not always the most unique layer of the music. While the material doesn’t sound as dirty or even as raw as Backslider, it does still have the feeling of a younger band recorded on a shoe-string budget.

Overall, the EP lasts roughly eleven and a half minutes, and it’s not all fantastic. Backslider‘s contribution is interesting, but given the song contributed and how little time they had, the songs make very little impact and almost immediately become rather repetitive. Nimbus Terrifix has a stronger production, and the last half of the material submitted is actually rather enjoyable. This isn’t to say Backslider contributed nothing but garbage, as their songs do offer a slightly unique take on the style and are enjoyable for what they are until they start to sound the same. In the long run, both bands seem to contribute a half good, half forgetful set, and overall, for an EP like this, it comes out alright, though not some of the most impressive tracks of all time. If this is honestly all the bands have to give, despite it just being under six minutes of Grindcore tracks for an underground EP, the bands really won’t leave much a lasting impression, but die hard fans of the style may enjoy this release a little more then the casual fans, or just people looking for something new. If you want to know more about these bands, it’s worth checking out, and perhaps at some point it will make a nice collectable piece, but other then that, much of this Split release sounds like a waste of vinyl.

Backslider:
01. Steady Diet of Vitriol
02. Sadistic Sack of Shit
03. Marrow Turns to Dust
04. Shallow Victory
05. Jerusalem Syndrome

Nimbus Terrifix:
06. Deadbeat
07. Roaches
08. Scranton Trinity
09. Broadcast Booth

Overall Score: 5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Give Praise Records via Earsplit PR.