Despite the fact that this split is only half an hour-long, it can feel like swallowing a dense shot of oil, as it was intended to sound this heavy on purpose, not by chance. Neither RITUAL NECROMANCY nor FOSSILIZATION is here to provide us with something simple. We’re not talking about sad, melancholic, melodic, or atmospheric death/doom, but instead, both bands provide us with a death/doom with the consistency of a black hole, confrontational and uncompromising.
Both bands make it apparent from the start what they’re made of. Although the songs in this split (one in the case of RITUAL, two in the case of FOSSILIZATION) grow and display their full potential as the minutes pass, they make it clear that first impressions are everything and it will not be to everyone’s liking.
Not to be misleading and to make it clear, their sounds are remarkably similar to each other, and finding each band’s identity requires a lot of digging into their tracks. If grindcore has been living with this concept for more than 30 years, I don’t see why we should abandon it now.
RITUAL NECROMANCY chose to make the first half of «Enter the Depths«, sound dense, as if they were dragging themselves through mud, going from the slow parts to a furious INCANTATION-style echo chamber sound and, almost splitting the song, as if it was meant to have a profane third part, the kick drums and a distorted, almost indistinguishable bassline give way to this final statement, a relatively more ambient mid-tempo section, not as saturated as the death/doom part at the beginning, nor the speedy middle part of it.
Rather than subjectively complimenting which segment is the greatest or worst, which would be unfair considering the consistent level of excellence throughout the 15 minutes, it would be more beneficial to commend the transition between sections and the resources they employ to avoid sliding into hieratic.
FOSSILIZATION‘s approach for this EP we could say is more scalable, «just» two six-minute songs. As a result, we can’t discuss portions here, but rather songs with a more simple approach and a distinct vibe than their peers.
Perhaps because of the intricate song titles («Exalted in the Altar of Insignificance«, «With Blood and Feathers«), the very subtle use of background keyboards accompanying the riffs, or the fact that they invest in the atmosphere and give the tune more space to breath (especially on «With Blood and Feathers«), but it’s inevitable to think of that ritualistic death metal of NECROS CHRISTOS, about blood, bones and that “you’re-just-lost-and-fucked-in-a-place-far-away-from-home”, but lacking the Middle Eastern influences and instruments. Although here I don’t get to be objective and I must say that, despite appreciating those blast beats, the fast riffs, where I have enjoyed the most is in those mid-tempos, the band reveals its own evil and nasty sounds. It is that one that awakens all the sensations I’ve described above.
Given the length of each song, you have to see this split more as a brief demo of what each band offers separately, a small preview of what you can find on your own. For this reason, a curious paradox occurs here, where this half an hour becomes short if you like both or either one of the bands, or it can be a half-hour of torture if you see this as a pointless and repetitive wall of noise. Divisive, to say the least.