Severe Torture/Blood Red Throne

Severe Torture/Blood Red Throne

A Taste For Butchery/A Taste For Blood Split CD

Hammerheart

Deceptive packaging from those mischievous little devils at Hammerheart. I had been laboring under the mistaken notion that this was a Severe Torture full-length, and only tonight do I realize that it’s a split effort between der Torture and Blood Red Throne — although the former does contribute the bulk of the material. So now I gotta listen to it a few more times within this context.

Okay, Severe Torture does that whole classic early-’90s Roadrunner Records thing, sounding like a witches’ brew of Suffocation, Sinister, Massacre (hey that’s Earache!), Incantation (I know, I know) and the like. They tweak the mold just a little bit by downtuning to the pits of hell, which adds a grimy bottom end that was oft missing from early death metal. It roots the sound more solidly and in fact makes the whole affair more evil-sounding. And y’know, even after all these years I’m still a big old mark for the two-vocalist approach to death metal, so a thumbs up there.

Blood Red Throne, on the other hand, are more influenced by the grindcore side of the equation, so we’ve got hints of mid-period Napalm Death, Morbid Angel (especially in the vocals), Extreme Noise Terror and Pestilence. Hold the phone, what’s this?!? Blood Red Throne seem to also have more of a thrash-based sensibility, so there’s plenty of double-bass drum work, thrashy guitar breaks and Testament-y melodic solos. Plus they’ve got more of a concern for the infectious riff than their grindcore guiding lights.

A catchy, refreshing mix of the past and the future, if I do say so myself. Both bands are pretty good bands, but I’m going to have to give the coveted nod to Blood Red Throne, as they seem to have a lot more unmined potential. Bring it on!

Hammerheart Records: http://www.hammerheart.com/

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