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Label: Great Dane Records / Release date: 15th September 2023
As its moniker suggests, Back To 90’s Old-school Death Metal is a Split Digipack CD featuring three death metal bands, namely; Wrathrone (Finland), Spiral Wounds (Italy) and Necrodium (Finland). It’s been released by Great Dane Records, where they’ve also included a four page booklet making a short introduction to all three bands. Artwork is the work of Sebastien Mockers, and I think it’s very representative of the sound that we can hear on this CD. Despite of many similarities between all three bands, instead of speaking in general terms, I’ll try to tell a few words on each of the bands.
This Split release opens with a presentation of a Finnish quintet Wrathrone. On these 3 new tracks the guys are performing an old-school death metal of something that I would call a controlled chaos. It’s been produced by Dani Venho and all 3 songs can be seen as the logical continuation of Eve Of Infliction full-length that came out in 2021. If you’re not familiar with their sound yet, then the best hint I can give is to say that it’s reminiscent of the likes of Suffocation, Obituary and other old-school brutal death metal acts. They start off with the opening straight cut called “To The Pillar’s Shadow”. It’s brutal and abrasive (esp. guitar work), but it also has a touch of melodic death metal too. This melody continues into the next track “Vermin Womb” with even some slow-down almost doom-death style. The closing tune is the one called “Survive The Collapse”, being a bit groovier compared to its two predecessors, but also with this chainssaw guitar sound. Serious head-banging guaranteed.
Second band to take part on this Split is Spiral Wounds, old-school death metal trio from Italy. Let there be said immediately; although playing death metal, Spiral Wounds is markedly different to Wrathrone. They present themselves with four tracks ( from their 2021 EP) of sonic bombardment beginning with the first cut called “Dying In Solitude”. It’s Swedish/Scandinavian style melodic death metal, with clear deep and dark vocals and sharp riffing. It’s esp. the vocals that binds firmly all four songs nicely together. Thus, the following “Uber Feral Winds” is nicely linked with other tracks, and where this trademark melodic riffing stands nicely against the more harsh and brutal vocals. Their song-writing is superb and I think that they round it nicely with the closing track “The Spire” where the band utilises an almost doom-death opening, with the aforementioned harsh vocals, intense drumming and razor-sharp riffs. These four really atmospheric, melodic and traditional death metal tracks, provide a good overview of Spiral Wounds’ music.
Now we move on the the last band on the Back To 90’s Old-school Death Metal Split. It’s another death metal combo from Finland, a four-piece named Necrodium. These guys are highly skilled and very experienced, being around for almost 18 years, and their discography counting a handful of demos, a full-length and a previous split. With four, previously unreleased tracks, they are bringing another approach to the death metal table and this particular Split release – playing more brutal & old-school death metal. It’s kicked-off with the opening “Carnal Addiction”, being an intense onslaught esp. with savage vocal delivery. On “Compulsive Mutilating Disorder” they continued where they stopped on “Carnal Addiction”, with numerous blast-beats, chainsaw guitars and terrorizing and hypnotic vocals. “Modern Crucifixion” has the best build-up, a powerful tune with excellent yet varied pace, and once again brutal riffing and hellish drumming. They end this Split on a high note with final closing assault “Violent Bludgeonings”. I though the last song is often there to slow thing down, but it’s not what we get here. “Violent Bludgeonings” is probably the most brutal cut on Back To 90’s Old-school Death Metal showing no signs of easing up before it’s completely over. There’re still varying tempo dynamics on this track, but all the way it’s brutal and sick, with insane drumming, diabolic & mind-blowing vocals and a twisted and disturbing guitar hook, which we couldn’t hear on any of the previous 10 tracks. Those four tracks reveals the true face of Necrodium, being very representative of their sound.
For additional information on this particular Split visit https://greatdanerecords.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-90-s-old-school-death-metal