Deiphago / Ritual Combat: Accept the Mark

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Deiphago / Ritual Combat: Accept the Mark
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Deiphaago / Ritual Combat: Accept the Mark
Black Metal, Death Metal
Iron Bonehead Productions (2013), Red Stream Inc.
November 1st, 2012 / July 25th, 2013
Release length:
Deiphago
Bandcamp
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Ritual Combat
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Red Stream, Inc. has brought together the legendary Deiphago and new-comers Ritual Combat for a four song split release. While the first of the two is an infamous name in the underground Black Metal community, having signed with Hells Headbangers to issue their violence-enducing third full-length effort Satan Alpha Omega, not much is known about the latter other than they are from Los Angeles, California, and issued their debut full-length, Occultus Requiem, back in 2010 through Hate War Productions. With two tracks each, does Accept the Mark stand as a great companion piece for both groups, or is it better left in the dust?

First up is Deiphago, and it’s an interested set of songs. The distortion on the guitars is amped up pretty high to the point where the chords are essentially static, the bass has a twang to it, and the vocals have a heavy echo effect to them similar to early Darkthrone. “Beast of Annihilation” is pure experimental chaos, shifting in and out of blast beats and slower bludgeoning passages that creep along with the possibility of altered snarling that sound somewhat sickening. The raw and hellish approach is carried into the cover of Sarcofago‘s “The Last Slaughter.” The performance is equally as hectic, though the faster sections definitely are the strongest, putting that echoed vocal approach to good use. The guitar solo that erupts later is like the remnants of a nightmarish acid trip the slower passage prior led you to believe you had just gotten out of.

Ritual Combat sounds similar to the previous two songs, but nowhere near as raw or focused on distortion and vocal effects. “Red in Blood and Death” is a solid enough piece of aggression, though the vocals do end up lacking a good deal of range. Thankfully some of the melodic bridges and deeper tuning in the verses makes up for it with blunt, twisted atmospheres that remain consistent the entire time. Finally there’s “Black War 666,” which shows a little extra enthusiasm in the vocals, especially about half way that finds them a bit more primal, yet seem a bit painful. The speed is increased as well, making the song a far more morbid and grim experience.


If vinyl is more of your thing, you’ll be able to pick up this release as a twelve inch LP. It is also limited strictly to five hundred pressings. Given the raw audio quality of the songs, especially on Deiphago‘s end, this is definitely the right choice to hear these venomous assaults, and one of the best ways to own this piece of Black Metal history if you had missed out last time.


Again, Accept the Mark is an interesting collection of songs from both bands. While Ritual Combat acts as a nice introduction with two solid, if not rather typical performances, Deiphago‘s contributions were definitely different, and even a bit Avant-Garde in some ways, though far from their best. With that said, there’s no denying going the vinyl LP route with this effort is the way to go, catering nicely to that lo-fi primal sound both bands bring with them here. Accept the Mark isn’t the most impressive of split releases, but it does make for a nice introduction, as well as companion piece for long time fans.

Deiphago:
01. Beast of Annihilation – 3:23
02. The Last Slaughter (Sarcofago cover) – 5:23

Ritual Combat:
03. Red in Blood and Death – 4:25
04. Black War 666 – 4:00

Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

2013 Reissue Score: 6.5/10

Deiphago (band)
Deiphago

Ritual Combat (band)
Ritual Combat

Digital review copy of this release provided by Iron Bonehead Productions.