Review by Poisonfume
Releases like this are one of the reasons why I love the Greek underground metal scene. What we have here is a D.I.Y. four-way split released by a foursome of virtually unknown death and grind bands, and though it is far from a masterpiece, you just have to appreciate the effort these bands have put in and their dedication to the Greek scene. While most other four-way splits I’ve heard by bands this obscure tend to be painfully mediocre at best, this one feels surprisingly fresh and very enjoyable. All four bands play some seriously catchy brutal death/grind, and while they aren’t all on the same level quality-wise, they all deliver a great blend of brutal grinding and irresistibly fun grooves, hooks and bouncy passages that you cannot help bobbing your head to while spilling your cheap bear from your plastic glass onto your dirty jean vest.
Just before I start, I’ll mention that a lot of the songs have horror film audio clip intros. They’re not long at all, and they neither add much nor subtract from the songs, but they are fitting for the over-the-top and non-serious tone of the tracks you’re about to hear.
Incineration‘s contribution comes first, and it is probably the least interesting on the split. It has the least grind elements of the four, and while the songs do have a couple of catchy riffs, they are overall bland and unmemorable because they’re just too fucking standard in a vast ocean of death metal. The production is gritty and raw, and it sounds quite similar to that of the latter two bands (which is perfect for the grindy style they play). Unfortunately, Incineration’s drums are too high in the mix for me and sound rather horrible, the snare and bass sound like MIDI files (which is probably exactly what they are). The only reason why I won’t let them take down the rating too low is because they’re only 3 songs out of 18, and as such it isn’t a drag to sit through them. Still, fairly average death metal.
Next comes ΚΡΕΑΣ, a band that definitely delivers the most unique part of the split, mainly because of the variety in vocal styles and some other stylistic oddities. The first track, Ειδικό Έθιμο Αιγυπτίων (Special Egyptian Custom), begins with a Greek spoken word passage (it should be mentioned that all lyrics are in Greek), followed by standard death growls with shrieking vocals in the background, making it a pretty chaotic track. This is essentially what the rest of the songs are like, plus a lot of groovy passages with hardcore-style rhythmic yelling. In fact, this is one of the few times I can actually hear substantial hardcore influence in grindcore that earns it it’s -core suffix, and I fucking like it. The final track, Ερωτικό Ψέμα (Lover’s Lie), stands out as the short, chaotic track a la early Napalm Death as opposed to the other catchy hardcore influenced songs. Overall a great contribution to the split and different to the rest.
Necrorgasm are responsible for tracks 8 to 12, which are the best in terms of quality. Look at Necrorgasm as a sort of much less technical version of Dying Fetus–they have slams and groovy passages, hair-raising pinch harmonic squeals and mini sweeps that just kick ass, they really do. Perfect production, fine vocals and just overall brutal. I can’t say much else about these songs, other than death metal and hardcore mix so well when done right. Great stuff.
Finally, the funnest is saved for last with the hilariously named The Anal Treatment XXXPerience. They are almost pure grind, and while their tracks are brutal and relentless, the main reason I dig this band is because of how much fun they are. Lots of alternating grind’n’groove, intense screaming vocals and some hilarious lyrics and song titles (my personal favorite being Καραφλός Κωλογλύφτης (Bald Ass-Kissing Bastard)–it helps to know Greek) make TATXXXP perfect for party music, if your idea of a good party is your ears bleeding and your I.Q. going down. These guys are just the musical embodiment of shameless low-lives with cum stains on their shirts, but they know how to make your head bob. The production is raw as hell and both genius and a slight letdown–genius because of the bass, which is thick, always audible and for which they NAILED the sound (the bass intro to Bald Ass-Kissing Bastard being a prime example), but a slight letdown because of the drums, with snare and bass sounding quiet while the rest of the kit is decently loud. Overall very enjoyable indeed and probably the highlight of the album. I listen to this when I just want to go nuts.
Wrapping up, let me finish by saying again how much it adds to the music that the four bands just got together to record and release this collaboration independently. It was certainly a surprise for me to find a four-way that isn’t shit, and it really motivates me to dig as deep in the underground as I can when such obscure bands produce such ass-kicking material. Certainly not a masterpiece, but quality trash and great fun nonetheless.