Murder Cafe / Earth Burnt Black: Split

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Murder Cafe / Earth Burnt Black: Split
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Murder Cafe / Earth Burnt Black: Split
Doom Metal, Experimental Death Metal, Progressive Metal
To the Head Records
June 8th, 2013
Release length: 24:24
Earth Burnt Black:
Bandcamp
Facebook
ReverbNation
Website

Murder Cafe:
Bandcamp
Facebook
ReverbNation

To the Head Records is a new independent label based out of the United States that seems to be a home brewed name for their only signed act, Colorado’s own Experimental Death and Doom Metal act, Murder Cafe. For 2013, they have recruited fellow Doom Metallers Earth Burnt Black for a split recording. With both bands having the chance to make each other’s fans aware, or those just with their ear to the underground in just the right, does this compilation present four impressive cuts, or is this just a wasted opportunity.

Murder Cafe technically gets three tracks on here, as they supply the short spoken word college essay introduction that goes against some catchy Jazz that picks up a solid groove later. “Cloudy Waves of Conformity” introduces you to the band’s signature sound of mid-range bass with no other guitar in the performance. The slower start does sound a bit empty due to it and the thud of the bass kicks, making you crave a deeper tuning, but about a minute and a half in, the song picks up and the faster pace fills the music with a richer infectious sound impossible not to get wrapped up in. Then there’s “Desperate Reach for the Top,” which pushes that Jazz vibe a little more, even finding the guttural vocals swapped out for some harsher harmonizations, spoken word, and more. What makes this a unique and truly interesting listen is the open mic poetry-style performance and music, missing only some bongos for full effect.

Earth Burnt Black doesn’t use a gimmick, but they do have a Progressive Metal touch to their material. “Singularity” trudges on with a dismal pace that utilizes deeper, simpler riffs to weave an ominous environment that can slow down even more. Aside nice production values and layered growling, this is a pretty basic Doom Metal track that often tries to be as slow as possible. It does transition into “Prey” nicely, which picks up the pace a bit, though starts off as if it were a breakdown to “Singularity.” The riffs are a little higher in pitch this time, and there are additional rhasps that give some additional energy to the mix. Some of the guitar work here also carries an infectious groove, like around the three and a half minute mark.

This Split is an interesting little split release, pitting two Colorado Doom Metal groups together to show off what they bring to the table, and both take advantage of the time they have. Murder Cafe presents a truly interesting take on the style, and Earth Burnt Black presents both incredibly slow, and highly infectious material that blends both tracks together seamlessly. The only major downfall ends up the thinner audio quality and general pitch levels for both groups. Had it been deeper all around, both would have made a stronger, more memorable impact. If you enjoy the Doom Metal genre and are interested in discovering some new bands, this Split is definitely worth a shot. While it won’t be the most impressive recording you’ll ever come across, the material is still solid, making this a recording well worth experiencing.

Murder Cafe:
01. Intro – 1:23
02. Cloudy Waves of Conformity – 4:26
03. Desperate Reach for the Top – 6:57

Earth Burnt Black:
04. Singularity – 4:17
05. Prey – 7:23

Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Earth Burnt Black (band)

Murder Cafe (band)
Murder Cafe

Physical review copy of this release provided by To the Head Records.