A few years ago, before writing for Guttural Death, I’ve been reviewer on a newspaper of a friend of mine, where I had a space for extreme metal stuff. The focus was different from what I do here today, because the public was not specialized as the readers of this site. I am mentioning this history only to consign that – over all years as a reviewer – I had never reviewed a split. So I thank the boss for the opportunity.
What we have here are two bands from Ukraine, AFFINITY HYPOTHESIS and INTOXICATED. The first is active since 2007, while the second has already been promoting destruction since 2003. I confess I had never heard of any of them before listening to this split. The only familiar reference was the guitarist Yura Kowalchuk (INTOXICATED), who is also part of two bands that I consider extremely competent: EZOPHAGOTHOMIA and REPULSIVE DISSECTION. If the names are (to me) unknown, the music performed is the old and good brutal death metal, produced with all the refinements of cruelty ever expected from people schooled in this matter.
The CD is quite fast. There are 8 songs (4 tracks for each band) distributed in almost 24 minutes. But the destructive effect is indeed impacting like a full album.
AFFINITY HYPOTHESIS initiates the massacre with a music quite inspired by their US counterparts. The sound production is not the best, unfortunately. However, the sonority allows the listener to enjoy the competence of the band to create some interesting movements, always in the slam BDM style, privileging the weight over the speed.
I did not like the “intro”. In fact, long ago I defended the thesis that these irritating noises should be banned from extreme metal CDs. Luckily, after the initial disappointment, “Dissected Victims” explodes in the speakers with a very captivating full-bodied sound. This is the kind of music that encourages the listener to make a brutal mosh.
“The Abduction”, the next track, keeps the same slam climate, adding some faster parts that maximize the band’s efficiency to overturn the listener inside out and then destroy him without mercy. The riffs that appear in two minutes of music can easily encourage you to punch the face of some annoying idiot who is nearby.
Finally, “Divine Gluttony” (STABWOUND cover) is a faster piece of music which serves as a counterpart to the previous songs. Despite being a cover, this track demonstrates the ease of guys to move between BDM and the traditional slam metal. I sincerely hope that the first full album of these guys do not wait too long to be recorded.
Now let’s look at the 4 tracks of INTOXICATED. The first impression is that the band was substantially affected by the sound production. However, listening to the part of the split reserved for these dudes, there is no doubt that here we have a band that deserved more opportunities.
Unlike their recording partners, INTOXICATED invests heavily in a more traditional BDM, performing a music so heavy and beastly that even I am now thinking what would be the reason why the band does not have a full-length. The compositions are dynamic and pleasant, and the structure of the songs reveals an evident passion for the older formations of the american death metal, like MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, CANNIBAL CORPSE etc. Elements of these groups abounds along the 4 tracks, but INTOXICATED has its own personality and in no time sounds derivative or irrelevant.
Everything here is very good and homogeneous. However, “Dysfunction” is a true masterpiece. This kind of speed pleases me greatly, especially because it brings the memory of one of the most beautiful albums in the metal history: “Reign In Blood”!!!
Both formations in this split CD are very competent in their respective styles and certainly are able to reach a higher level in the extreme world scene.
Written by: Antonio Jose Bresci