Thursday, July 16, 2009

Septicemia/Antraks - Split (Sevared Records; 2009)

Septicemia and Antraks are two bands that I first heard about through a Sevared Records sampler CD (review). Both coming out of Indonesia they are now together on a split CD. I always like supporting upcoming slam and I remember their tracks on the sampler were good, so I couldn't help but pick this up.

Septicemia go first on the disc and I have to admit it took me some time to get a handle on this band. They certainly don't sound like your average slam band. The closest approximation I can come up with is Dying Fetus grooves, TXDM chugs and Colombian blasts. On top of this is a lot of weird guitar noodling. Septicemia feel full of energy and have a lot going on. This is both a strength and a weakness. It's a strength because their songs never get boring and they jam in a lot of good riffs, solos and slams. It's a weakness because sometimes Septicemia end up sounding disjointed and inconsistent. They have a lot of good riffs but they're arranged haphazardly which lessened their impact.

There's a lot to like from this band but they've made it more difficult than they had to to see that. I am hopeful that this band could get better because I think songwriting is a little easier to improve on when you already have great riffwriting capabilities and a unique sound as
Septicemia do.

Filling out the second half of this split
Antraks have achieved a more cohesive sound than their splitmates and because of that I think they're the more enjoyable band. Listening to this reminded me a lot of the raw and catchy sound of Filipino slam bands Human Mastication and Down From the Wound. There's also some Dying Fetus influence. As with Septicemia it feels like Antraks have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for their music which helps liven it up. There's a lot of really good moshable slam on here that I can imagine would sound great live.

aren't quite as inventive as Septicemia but theirs songs are a little more satisfying. That's not to say that Antraks sound unoriginal it's just that their approach to writing brutal death metal is a little more standard. There's better raw sounding slam stewing in the underground, but you could also do a lot worse than Antraks.

Taken together I enjoyed this split. It had a lot of music on it (over 50 minutes) and featured both some innovation and some tradition. It's also great to see how far brutal death and slam have spread throughout the world. If you're interested in the deep underground of slam or like a raw sound then this split is recommended.

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