Fort Evil Fruit accepts no responsibility for any existential distress or damage to sanity resulting from exposure to these recordings. You are alone in an indifferent universe.
Well, you can’t say the label that put out this split death metal cassette didn’t try to warn you.
This was one of the tapes I bought in Galway, Ireland a few month ago. It was a complete and utter shot in the dark, with nothing but the band names (and to be honest I figured the band was Ordnance and the tape was called Spermicidal) and the packaging. It hardly seemed like pop or classical (or country), so for $5 why not.
Little did I know I was adding another black metal tape to my collection. A disconcerting number of my tapes seem to be black metal, and I’m not entirely sure how this came to be. To be fair, a lot of them are from the Icelandic label Vánagandr (and I have two more on the way from them…), but still. For a guy who never listened to black metal until this year, I have a lot of black metal tapes.
So what of it? Well, this tape (released in January, 2013) features two side projects of members of the Irish band Wreck of the Hesperus, both of which involve Cathal Rodgers. The Ordnance side is some of the best metal I’ve heard in a while – it’s black and doom, but also very musical. Vocally it tends to stay on an even keel, assuming of course you’re willing to accept that that keel involves torment and echo and pain and the rending of flesh. But it stays in a consistent flow through each song, without crazy swings in pitch or speed, maintaining a steady, doomy course to the abyss, with the possible exception of the opening of “Cold Corners, Warm Blood I” which is downright disturbing. Ordnance is heavy and sludgy throughout, never breaking loose into a torrent of guitars and speed.
I’m having a hard time putting my finger on what it is about Spermicidal that leaves me not quite liking it as much as Ordnance (but it’s still good). It’s a bit trippier, perhaps nowhere more so than on “Defragmentation,” which also happens to be the best song on this side of the tape. It’s just sort of creepier in a way, a more disorganized type of terror. More industrial in a lot of ways. I like my apocalyptic horror a bit more methodical, but that’s just me.
The cassette itself was a limited, hand numbered edition of 100 that is long since sold out through the label. But I did find a copy for sale on Discogs for about five bucks, or you can just head over HERE and give the whole thing a listen for free.