Carved Cross/Sump Split 7”
Legion Blotan/All Dead Tapes/Winterreich Productions/Down and Out
Featuring two standout names within the current “raw” Black Metal scene, this split delivers exactly what is to be expected from both Carved Cross and Sump. Australia’s Carved Cross offer forth two tracks of their mid-paced sound with depressive undertones in the vein of other down-under contemporaries (most notably Drowning the Light). Low-fidelity recording qualities add to the signature CC sound, mixing agonizing high-pitched shrieks into the drunken-guitar melodies and stomping percussion. Lots of pace-changes between tremolo passages with stomping drum accompaniments and moving segments that keep both pieces at an engaging pace. “Domination of the Will” takes full advantage of its short track length with a developed, haunting structure and repeated passages/vocal phrasing that in turn are quite catchy. All-in-all, however, this brief side doesn’t do the band complete justice (previous releases showcase longer tracks with more depth), but given the restraints, Carved Cross does an excellent job of portraying the critical elements of their sound. The B-side features the United Kingdom act, Sump, who rely on sloppy presentation and an ugly approach throughout their four-song share of the split. Although the production remains low-fidelity, the atmosphere has a peculiar warmth to it that allows for the instruments to shine a little brighter(in turn helping to better grasp their raw compositions). “Black Tombstone” features tremolo-riffing and thumping d-beat marches into chaos until climaxing into a short harsh noise “outro”(low-end static rumbles...seriously!). “Live for Evil” opens with a catchy guitar-melody and maintains a high “punk” energy before slipping into a grimy movement with reckless drum plodding and high-speed riffing (and another stint of electronics just before the final burst of anger...winding and airy oscillations from the distance...). “When Satan Appears” closes their side with a catchy song structure and a vicious vocal styling to match, and overall this Sump material is some of the best the band has released as of recent. Strong songwriting capabilities and a violent approach to their craft helps plant their seeds into the soil contemporaries such as Bone Awl and Ildjarn had laid.
A definite purchase for fans of either band, and worth inspecting by anyone with a taste for hideous, raw Black Metal/Punk. Copies can be purchased via the Down and Out blog.