|Black Metal, Death Metal, Melodic Black Metal
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
June 17th, 2014
Release length: 41:03
Fiends at Feast:
Up first is Fiends at Feast. The group formed back in 2007 by five individuals who one might not be too familiar with aside guitarist Azazel due to his time in Gloam and Pain Tractor. All the same, after a few years of working on their sound they issued Shadows of Extinction in 2011 themselves, which was followed by their debut album Towards the Baphomet’s Throne a year later through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions as well. Thankfully this split presents four brand new compositions and not just some tracks from previous releases that may or may not have been re-recorded.
After a brief spoken word chant, “Four Winds of Destruction” introduces a mixture of furious Black Metal influence over a solid Death Metal presence lined with tight drums and sharpened guitars, but it’s the bass guitar’s output that really shines through. The Progressive Death Metal sound, even performance at times like the build up to the guitar solo and even in support of it, has a hint of Obscura that perfectly compliments the abrasive sound, especially during the haunting passage at the end. This influence kicks off “Into the Darkness,” weaving a beautifully morose setting that is soon met with well paced mid-tempo technicality to create the most addicting track from the band. “Through Immortal Gates” blasts away, meshing growls with rasps, buckling to hints of early Venom influence with a hint of Thrash Metal that seeps into the foundation the same way the subtle hint of epic intent can be felt past the half way point, preparing you for the moody instrumental “Spectral Passageway” and it’s not too impressive wave sound effects.
The trio of former Of Hate and Entropy bassist Joe Dunn, Void Omnia‘s Cody Stein on drums, and vocalist/guitarist Steven Moser of Chaosophy and Lords of Discipline fame known as Tragic Death actually formed in 2004, but went under the name Withering Youth and played a mixture of Black Metal, Thrash Metal and Death Metal. They issued one demo under this name until changing it to what it is today in 2009. Now their direction is more Melodic Black Metal with a hint of Pagan and Folk Metal traits thrown in. 2011 saw the Pre-Apocalyptic Demo release, followed the next year with a self-released full-length Apocalyptic Metal. Now the band presents three contributions to wrap up the Pergatory Rites split. While one song shorter, the performances are all over six minute mark to make up the difference.
Unlike Fiends at Feast, Tragic Death has a rawer touch that gives their music a cold, utterly frostbitten sound. The instruments are crisp enough with a superb sound on the drum kit that includes distant thunderous bass kicks, rich distortion on the guitars that is a bit dulled and blunt, and a bass presence that provides a deep backbone to the whole operation that is met with a largely guttural vocal performance that can reach a bit higher into rasp territory at times. “Suffer the Salvation” sounds a bit thin at first, slowly building towards some Thrash influence that makes you expect Goatwhore, but really drops into slower second wave complexity with additional sounds that seem to come from a keyboard backing up the snow capped performance’s mix of complexity and groove. Around the four minute mark things take a sudden turn towards more of what one would expect of viking themed outfits like Amon Amarth or Einherjer.
The conclusion of “Suffer the Salvation” is a more accurate representation of what Tragic Death presents on this split, really. The traits of those two bands mentioned really shine through during “Withering Youth.” The tighter guitars and the dull buzzing sets up a gloomy environment that bares it’s harsher Black Metal fangs as it approaches the four minute mark, treading in a Pagan interpretation that sounds fantastic for how shortlived it ends up being. “The Dissolution of the Clay Children” is about the same, though there are some interesting changes in timing to the drums once in a while such as around a minute and a half in. There’s some infectious hooks as well after two minutes, though like before end up with a short life span. This also starts off rather rocky due to the bass being a bit too loud, giving a sort of hollowness that just sticks out like a sore thumb not just there, but through much of this track as well. While a decent song, there’s little new to seperate it from the ten minutes that passed just prior to this one beginning.
Purgatory Rites is a surprising little split that collects material from two bands that do deserve to be noticed. Fiends at Feast really stand out with their mixture of Black Metal and Death Metal that finds a growing Progressive touch the deeper into their four songs you get. Meanwhile Tragic Death tricks you into false expectations, hitting you hard with nothing but bleak, gray, frostbitten epics that are breathtaking at first, though in the three songs presented do tend to start soundng like one another after a while. Either way the attempts are incredibly admirable and immediately put the listener on high alert of the existence of these groups. Even with the few faults mentioned above, Purgatory Rites is an engaging split that fans of the bands, as well as those of the styles they play, will warmly embrace.
Fiends at Feast:
01. Found Winds of Destruction – 3:55
02. Through Immortal Gates – 5:32
03. Spectral Passageway – 2:09
04. Into the Darkness – 5:49
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10