Sunday, May 22, 2011

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Split Roast compilation CD review

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Split Roast compilation CD
Condate Records
Genre: Extreme UK Metal
Rating: 5/5

I like a good compilation of extreme stuff that's not full of filler crap. The person responsible for this one, Ben Whitfield Director of Condate Records, needs to be congratulated (or at least buy the guy a beer) for putting this together. The basic premise of this comp is to showcase some really extreme UK underground metal. Trust me on this one because this dink certainly gets the job done. Split Roast consists of five semi distinct sounding bands who all run the gauntlet between Death Metal and Grindcore. There's twenty tracks on here in a few ticks less than an hour's time which is perfect for those of us who take a long lunch break at work. What, doesn't everyone listen to Grindcore on their lunch break? Anyway a few years ago Terrorizer Magazine had an issue with a feature story all about British Brutality. They even included eighteen extra tracks on their Fear Candy # 67 comp CD, which came with the magazine. According to Terrorizer the tracks were from "eighteen of the UK's most brutal up & coming or established acts." Well none of the five bands that appear on Split Roast were on that magazine comp. Furthermore these five bands ( COLONEL BLAST, CANCEROUS WOMB, MAGPYPES, DYSCAPHIA and DIASCORIUM) are far more extreme sounding then what the mag's editor's considered to be. Now of course that was in 2008 so I'm not at all sure if all of these bands were around back then but if they were well someone wasn't looking or listening very hard.

The first band to start things out is COLONEL BLAST who get my vote for best band name on here. FYI, I'm ex-military and if I served under someone by the name of COLONEL BLAST I would have followed that bastard to hell and back if he asked me. This band hails from Northwitch and has a full length which came out in 2010 on (surprise, surprise!) Condate Records entitled For the Greater Good. COLONEL BLAST contribute two cuts on here both decent Death Metal with a slight technical edge. Next up is CANCEROUS WOMB a three piece act from Edinburgh who keep the DM bludgeoning going on with three cuts. One of which is a live version of "Austrian Basement" which is the title cut from their 2009 self released EP. That cut runs heavily on the simplistic goregrind side of the dead body heap. I preferred another cut of theirs on here "Tepid Decrepit" since its a much better track with a lot more variety to it. Obviously Ben Whitfield likes the MAGPYPES since he gave these Grindcore maniacs from Leeds room for seven of their songs on here. Then again it is extremely fast grind. One of their cuts on here "North West Smash Test" should be the theme music for car crash videos. Listening is a test of will between you and the stop button. Next up are three cuts of brutal tech death grind by Manchester's DYSCAPHIA. Even though this band only has a two song demo out released in 2009 I thought they sounded the most interesting as well as accomplished in musicianship and songwriting craft. They've found that balancing point with their sound which doesn't annoy you with sheer noise nor are they in a race to see how quickly you will succumb to ADD.

The last minutes of Split Roast are given to another Leeds based band DIASCORIUM. I wonder if they deliberately asked to placed at the rear end of this comp? Seeing that if you survived all the previous material then here they are to finish what the others started which I believe was to peel your face off skin layer by layer. DIASCORIUM do their damnedest by throwing everything a Tech Death band can including a piano on "Interjection" which would have been right at home as an opening intro for a black metal release. All in all it's like the old saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. At the begging of this review I stated that the basic premise of this comp is to showcase some really extreme UK underground metal. After enduring it three times in a row I'd say that there is a more sinister underlying motive at work. That one being if you survived then buy the band's other releases. Chances are if you are a survivor you will in fact do that.


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