Album: Splitting Tongues
Release Date: 11/03/2021
The band hail from Dublin, Ireland and formed back in 2019 and were originally known as Draught. Since that time, they have released on demo titled 2019 and now their debut EP. The band is made up of members of a number of notable projects, including Coldwar, Mortichnia, Warpath, Wound Upon Wound and Slave Zero. The album was recorded live, with no triggers or cuts, in Hellfire Studios, Dublin. Recording, mixing and mastering was done by Ivan Jackman. The album’s artwork is courtesy of Sarah at BlackFeverArt.
The band’s sound draws on a number of harsh influences, namely sludge, death, black and doom metal. All of these styles are fused together under a thick veil of filth and dissonance. There is something honest about the album’s sound and that may be due to the fact that it was recorded live without edits. The lack of polish gives the music that much more of a dirty, authentic feel. Aside from that, to call the album heavy is a bit of an understatement, with level of sound that is somewhat unrelenting from start to finish on the EP. Additionally there is a real murky feeling to the release that gives it a bit of a grimy energy. To briefly quote Cursed Monk Records on the album, “their sound is expressive, suffocating, yet expansive and cathartic.” I couldn’t really have worded that better myself, as the EP is all of those things to a T. While it is heavy, there are clearer, lighter, more technical and experimental elements mixed in throughout. Additionally, there is a real focus on atmosphere on the album that comes from the tuning and tempo variations, reverb and other elements.
As far as individual elements on the release go, the drum work would have to be one of my favourite elements. The work is extremely varied and draws on a number of different techniques, all performed at varying tempos. While this may not be a drum driven album, without the atmosphere created by the band’s drummer this would simply not be the same caliber of album. Next up we have the guitar work which is quite varied due to the number of influences it draws from. You will find aggressive and crunchy death metal segments, heavy as hell sludge and doom parts and menacing buzz saw style black metal segments. The bass work also needs complimenting here, it’s thick and full throughout the album, but at times it shines through the mix as a star of its own. Some of my favourite parts of the album are when the guitars and vocals subside, and we have the drum and bass work as the key focus.
Lastly, we need to talk about the vocals on the album. We have here to clearly distinct styles, a more guttural death metal style and a rawer, screeched style. The two alternatives interchangeably throughout the EP, with each giving a very distinctive feel. The more guttural style has a range within it, reaching from a deeper, far more guttural style to a rawer, more barked style. The vocal diversity is well paired with the broad range of instrumental influences on the album, fully completing its overall sound.
On the whole, this is a solid and punchy EP. They say that big things come in small packages and this release is no exception. Despite only running for 17 minutes, the release covers a lot of ground and definitely leaves you wanting more. Personally, I am excited to see where the band go with their future releases and look forward to a full-length album down the line. If you are an extreme metal fan, then definitely give this a spin.
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