Monday, January 20, 2014

Metal Briefs: HellDProd Splits

Over the last several months I have gotten a number of stuff sent to me from the label HellDProd.  Since most of these are short demos or two-song splits, and older, I figured I would throw them all together in one post.

This is a two song split between German black metallers Augrimmer and Brazilian blackened death metal band Grave Desecrator.  I was previously familiar with Grave Desecrator and own their 2010 full-length.  Augrimmer was new to me.

Augrimmer's contribution to this is the track "This is How You Do It (With the Devil)".  I doubt it has anything to do with the Montell Jordan track "This is How We Do It", which was popular when I was in junior high.  Instead it appears to be a Darkthrone-esque track, mixing simple black metal with a little bit of a traditional metal flair and some impressive soloing.  The production value was actually a lot better than I thought I was going to get.  I was actually pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed this track.

Grave Desecrator, on the other hand, stick to their really raw and murky production values and their downright filthy blackened death style that is clearly influenced by the South American pioneers of their scene, Sarcofago and Morbid Visions-era Sepultura.  Grave Desecrator is not re-inventing the wheel here.  But I love the dirty style.

Both tracks on this release are impressive, but this split is not a necessity because it is just one song from each band.  It does make me want to check out Augrimmer, and would do the same if I was not already familiar with Grave Desecrator.  I guess that is the purpose behind these.

This is a much more worthy split.  Here we have a three-way split with each band having between four and seven songs.  On this one, the only band I was previously familiar with is Inquisitor who had been sent to me previously by the label for their two-song EP Dark Ages of Witchery.

Decayed is first up.  They are a Portuguese black metal band that has apparently been around since 1990 and put out a large number of demos, EPs, and splits during that time.  They have also had nine full-length releases.  I had never heard of them before.  This is fairly lo-fi black metal, but it is thrashy and hateful, just the way I like my black metal.  There is absolutely nothing pretty about any of the sound here, this is just straightforward dark and dirty black metal.  The vocals are impressive with a kind of echo effect that gives off the feeling of a demonic voice.

Irae is another Portuguese black metal band that has been just as productive in releasing material, though Irae has not been around as long.  Irae is a one-man band in which sole member Vulturius performs all of the instruments.  Irae sounds like you would expect from a one-man black metal band, raw and cold, yet fairly simplistic.  What is surprising is that the production values on this are pretty decent, which is somewhat rare for one-man black metal.  Irae also is significantly more dynamic than a lot of one-man black metal bands.

Inquisitor stands out a little bit on this split.  Not a black metal band, Inquisitor plays more of a thrash/speed metal style.  So the last third of the split is significantly faster and lighter than the previous two-thirds.  Even more surprising is the fact that the thrash metal band seemed to have the worst production of the three.  But I enjoyed Inquisitor on their EP and I enjoy them now.  They sound a little like Skeletonwitch in that it is an impressive style of blackened thrash metal with a lot of speed and intensity.

This is a much more worthy split and all three bands are impressive in their own ways.  I still prefer Inquisitor, but Irae and Decayed both impressed me.

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