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Review: Volkeinblucht/Idvarp/Dead to Earth - Three Way Split
Dead to Earth
Three Way Split

Label: Graveless Slumber Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 53:53
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: July 8, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 1/5 (20%) (1 Vote)

Advance MPEG files from an as-yet-not-released 3-way split: It doesn't get any more kvlt than that. This is the first exposure I have had to these bands, and I have to say I am impressed, and will definitely be grabbing this as soon as it comes out (assuming they press more than 50 copies.)

Dead To Earth are a one-man band from the USA who play a kind of raw BM so furious it is almost ambient. The guitars, drums, and extremely low-impact vocals blend together into a single wave of evil sound that would be relaxing if it wasn't so malevolent. Everything about this band is mixed evenly to create a sort of fused-together sound that is hard to pick individual instruments out of. Sometimes you think there aren't any drums at all on here, only to realize they are so muted you just aren't sure you are hearing them. Same with the vocals. I don't mean to make this sound boring though, as there are some very cool melodies worked into this odd BM tapestry, and while it isn't terribly aggressive, it is still evil and cool.

VolkeinBlucht, on the other hand, is the sound of pain. Another one-man band from the US, this stuff is almost diametrically opposed to the Dead To Earth tracks that precede it. This is fast, chaotic, hateful stuff that is like the distilled sound of murderous rage. Here you get the expected furious, thrashing riffs piled one on top of the other to create the almost indescribable melee that forms a backdrop for some of the most tortured, malefic shrieking I have ever heard. Blastbeats, screams, and evil, atonal riffs create the sounds of Hell itself. Sometimes he goes a bit overboard on the screams, and becomes almost a self-parody, but overall VolkeinBlucht creates a brutal soundscape.

Idvarp are the last segment on this disc, with drums by none other than our Metalcrypt compadre Chaossphere. This is the most conventional Black Metal on the split, reminding me strongly of Darkthrone circa "Under A Funeral Moon". Idvarp opt for a much more tremolo-riff style with more melodic complexity than you would expect from this sort of band, rather than just blasting away. Vocals are very back in the mix, but are a lower roar rather than a gobliny rasp. "Victory Hail" is a more abrupt and direct assault, but the later epic two-parter "Blood Death Honor" shows off some more dynamic, and an almost doomy approach in places.

All three of these bands share certain characteristics. The production is what would be gently labeled "raw", though "bad" might be a better word. I am assured the actual disc will have higher sound quality, but to be honest I doubt that will clear this up entirely. Those who come expecting pin-drop sound a la Emperor will be mightily disappointed, but for fans of raw and kvlt Black Metal this entire disc is a treat, as you get just one killer slab of evil after another. There are no bad tracks here, no gay-ass keyboard crap or 'atmospheric' junk. Just Black Metal, as raw and primitive and underground as it is possible for human beings to make it. If you think Darkthrone are too commercial, then this is the CD for you. Infernal Hails to all who had a part of making this album as evil as it can be.

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