The most aggressive split of 2020 is set to be unleashed.
Words by Ryan McCarthy:
New Zealand’s HERESIARCH and Canada’s ANTEDILUVIAN should certainly be recognizable names for anyone who so much as dabbles in extreme music. These musical heavyweights have brought numerous solid, aggressive releases to the table over the span of their careers, and now they do so in conjunction. And, if we’re being honest, this pairing makes perfect sense. Defleshing the Serpent Infinity is a five song split that showcases the best of each project’s respective approaches to the black/death genre.
HERESIARCH’s side of the split offers three tracks: a rerecorded version of Lupine Epoch, and two brand new tracks entitled Excarnation and No Sanctuary. Fans of the band will recognize Lupine Epoch from HERESIARCH’s 2017 release Death Ordinance, and it remains as short and pissed off as ever. Excarnation is a vicious, death-metal-minded track that focuses on meaty riffs and, once the tension-building intro has run its course, aggressive, fast-paced drumming. HERESIARCH’s traditional vocal style is on full display on Excarnation, alternating between low, almost guttural death metal growls and raw, more traditional black metal vocals. The combination of these two vocal styles serves to add to the chaos and create a frantic atmosphere of disorientation and violence.
No Sanctuary is a bit of a departure from the HERESIARCH norm, in that it’s a five and a half minute ambient track. As you might expect, it’s not exactly ambient in the same way that soothing background noise is ambient. This track is positively menacing and culminates about halfway through with some percussive elements and low, almost imperceptible vocals. It’s evocative of a post-apocalyptic cityscape or a battlefield where nothing moves or breathes. Even on tracks when they aren’t playing war metal, HERESIARCH manages to evoke the timeless glory and gory carnage of combat.
ANTEDILUVIAN’s first contribution to the split is, surprisingly, much rawer by contrast. The production, the composition, the instrumentation - every single element of this song lends itself to a discomforting level of disarray and disorder. If HERESIARCH evokes two armies marching to meet each other head on in battle, then ANTEDILUVIAN brings to mind the bloody madness of a rout, with men being chased down and slaughtered as they attempt to run to safety. Slipstream of Leviathan's Wake is really a good summary of everything ANTEDILUVIAN typically brings to the table: echoey, indecipherable, often majestic vocals; drums that explode in frenetic bursts of energy then retreat into almost idle beats; and tremolo riffs that sound like they could just as easily fit on a PORTAL record.
Prelude, the ironically-named closing track of this split, is another ambient track that sounds like part two of No Sanctuary. Despite the short length of this release, I actually like the inclusion of two ambient tracks, as they serve to break up the madness and create an aesthetic unity that probably would have been lacking otherwise. In all sincerity, this split promises to be one of the heaviest releases of the year.
Defleshing the Serpent Infinity will be out on July 31st courtesy of Iron Bonehead. Pre-order your copy of the split HERE as the release date nears closer.