"The black cloud over sunny California grows and grows, with each addition to its dark army and each new missive from one of its elite! Black metal has found a strong foothold in this unlikely location. Xasthur, Leviathan, Draugar, Crebain and a small dark likeminded legion lurk in the shadows, far away from the fun and the sun, unleashing some of the most raw and uncompromisng black metal we've ever heard.
AQ pal Wrest and his genius one man avant black metal outfit Leviathan return with what may quite possibly be his best, most intensely weird material to date. We just can't get enough of his dark and violent, totally skewed take on grim frosty black metal. And for this release he teams up with relative newcomer Ancalagon The Black and his outfit Crebain. Not quite as weird as Leviathan, Crebain channels his darkness through a more thrashing Darkthrone/Mutiilation style..
On this split, Wrest takes his ultra distorted inhuman vocals, pummelling hyperspeed blasts, and violent riffery to a whole 'nother dimension, and moves even further away from his contemporaries, both in terms of sound and concept. There are certain sonic similarities for sure, but Leviathan has such a personal and undiluted take on the black sounds that so obviously flow through is veins. For every blast beat and every buzzing riff, there's some stuttery, fucked up breakdown, or extended blissed out ambient soundscape, or rhythmic mathrock workout, or strummy clean guitar jangle, or weird production with all sorts of glitches and strange sounds. The ambient parts here are definitely some of the most beautifully creepy we've ever heard, from a metal band or otherwise. And the metal, well, by now you should know few can touch Leviathan when it comes to black metal brilliance. And the thing is, Wrest doesn't think any of this is weird. He just makes the sounds he hears in his head, and they sound right to him. And they are right, but in such a beautifully weird way. Can't wait for the upcoming full length Tentacles Of Whorror. His half of the split ends with a straight ahead and super necro cover of cult early '90s San Francisco metallers Von's "Blood Angel." Nice..
The other half of this is Crebain's first offical cd release, having previously only released a super limited cd-r demo last year, and it's just as good as that demo led us to hope. This is as raw and buzzing and blazing as it gets. Where Wrest is a master of arranging, creating moods and ambience, Ancalagon is a master of the riff. An unbelievably good guitarist, these riffs are lightning fast and swarm into your ears like a plague of locusts. Thrashing and chaotic, Crebain is a furious no-nonsense metallic onslaught. Programmed drums allow the rhythms to keep up with the madness inducing riffery. Occasionally things slow down to midtempo, and then it becomes quite obvious that Crebain is actually writing catchy songs, not just an insane series of parts. Melodies and almost-groovy riffs propel loping hypnotic dirges towards their eventual obliteration via hyperspeed blasts and that blurry Crebain riffery. Fucking great..
This split is another nail in the coffin containing the corpses of the Nordic metal elite, as black metal's Calfiornia contigent threatens to thaw their frosty corpses with the soul shearing rays of its black sun! Aieeee! Limited to only 666 copies!"