Thursday, December 14, 2017

Acid Cross/Sardu: Metalpunx from Beyond (2017)

I need to get caught up here.  I am going to try to finish a bunch of reviews for 2017 releases in the coming weeks before dropping my Top (Whatever) Albums by the end of January.  I like to wait until well after the first of the year to cover all of the new albums I might hear in the year.
This is pretty much the quintessential Hells Headbangers release, which is why it is so weird that it is not from that particular label, not that there is anything wrong with that.  In fact, I only bring it up because I am such a fan of that label's output, so it makes sense that I would like this release.  This is a split album and both bands feature a very heavy punk influence to go along with their own twisted brands of black/thrash/speed metal, hence the name of the split.   Both bands are also from Canada, and I have made it clear that there is some surprisingly great metal coming from the Great White North.  Yet another reason to look into this split.

Acid Cross is the first band on the split.  Their sound is an unholy blend of Motorhead, Venom, and Bathory.  It is beer-and-whiskey-soaked rollicking metal with a punk sneer.  The vocals are snarled and raspy, sounding as if the singer just downed a pint of acid before taking the mic.  "The Glowing Ones" is the standout track here with some damn infectious, neck-breaking guitar riffs.  I could have done without the extended movie sample at the end of the last track on the side, which just saps a lot of the energy the band built up previously.  This might have been better earlier on in Acid Cross's material.

Up next is Sardu, and with a song name like "Metal Punk Exploding Master", you can tell that this group is not exactly super serious.  Sardu has an interesting back story as members of the band also created a cult zombie film called "Walking Among the Dead".  The vocals are a little more black metal-styled than Acid Cross, but the riffs are even more rooted in Motorhead and punk rock.  Their side is a little more even, without any truly weak moments, but they also do not quite reach the heights of the Acid Cross side.

What I usually like to do with splits is pick my favorite side.  Both of these bands capture the drunken mayhem spirit of Motorhead and mix it with some sleazy blackened thrash metal.  Both bands put on an energetic performance.  But, even though I will be interested in following both bands, I think I slightly prefer Acid Cross, mostly on the strength of "The Glowing Ones".

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