Review – Sword Suicide: Splatter Christmas

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  • Bio: "Started in August 2015. [...] A solo noisecore project by Zane Martin(Critic)" - Facebook
  • Label: Self-release
  • Release Date: December 17th, 2015
  • Genre: Grindcore, Noisecore
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Never heard of Sword Suicide? Well, it wouldn’t be surprising, as it’s a one-man operation based out of Tupelo, Missippi, and it hasn’t stopped recording since forming in August of this year. In the past four months, this act has unleashed nine smaller releases and split recording contributions, and there’s still time before the start of 2016. For December, sole member Zane Martin has slapped three more creations – two EPs and a split with Inerte – up on the project’s official Bandcamp page. One of these is the holiday titled Splatter Christmas. But does this new offering stack up, or is it just a waste of a little over two hundred seconds of your life?

Amidst the unnatural sound emitting from the guitars and analog vocal distortion tactics Sword Suicide impliments lies a gritty, repulsive slab of punk fuelled grindcore. Shrill and abrasive, Splatter Christmas feeds off the likes of Regurgitate, Nasum, and many d.i.y. grinders of today and years passed. “Rip Them Apart” assaults the listener with the equivilent of nails on a chalk board, a staple sound throughout the other blistering five tracks, pummeling the listener with a mixture of blast beats subtle hardcore grooves, the latter pushed further during “Closed Walls” with it’s slower, somewhat out-of-sync rhythm start. You can even pick up on a hint of death metal influence during “Cannibal Feast”, as well as a gloomy, doom-riddled introduction to “Horrified” that tears away at the listener like the fangs of feral wolf.

Sadly there is a pretty big downfall to be had, which is the excessive amount of guitar feedback. It pretty much starts and ends each track of the release, and comes through at such a shrill level that it’s guaranteed to give the listener a dull headache after a handful of spins back-to-back at the very least. Had there been a little restraint in utilizing it only as a closing or or intro instead of both with another one or two in between those points in a song, it wouldn’t leave the listener cringing with anticipation of the next brief burst. Yes, it aids in the raw, analog underground environment, but overusing a staple sound of a certain output doesn’t add to the overall quality either. It actually does the opposite here, sadly.

Whether or not it gebnuinely has anything to do with the holiday itself, Splatter Christmas stands as a prime example of d.i.y. one-man-grind, not to mention as pure an analog example as you could ever hope to experience. It’s so raw, in fact, that you can still smell the fresh vinyl forming in the pressing plant, even in digital download format. From the first track in, Sword Suicide does to the listener what the title track suggests, all with a notable punk presence amid the clatter and latter nods of death metal ruthlessness, all of which held back by the obnoxiously abused guitar feedback. Had it been restrained across the entire just past three-and-a-half minute offering, Splatter Christmas would be a lot more impressive than it already is.

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.