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Release date August 10/18 (Blood Harvest)

Quick hitter black metal split EP on tap. First up is a single sub-eight-minute track from Californian's Gloam. An up-tempo stormer that changes tack frequently, the band not only shows a flair for solid song arrangement, but also strong instrument skills. Mixing strange riffage and lead guitar playing, veering almost into technical territory, with more traditional heads-down, all-guns-blazing riffs, it is the hoarse rasp vocals which end up grounding the material, acting as the needed adhesive for the whole. Enjoyable, well played and produced black metal for the underground.

Peru's Obscure Evil complete the split providing two tracks of black/thrash totaling eight minutes. Opening with a keyboard flourish and Slayer-inspired riff, 'Tribes of Ueth' quickly switches gears into a high octane, scurrying black metal ditty, dizzying in its intensity and guitar playing. The sewer-dwelling vocals are buried in the mix allowing the guitars and drums to take center stage. Second track 'Necronihilism' slows down the pace somewhat, its driving rhythm giving the headbanger a chance to work the neck muscles ... until the band presses on the accelerator again at mid-point. Leaving dust in their wake, Obscure Evil then thrash out to the bitter end with some fine rhythmic intensity and guitar soloing. Unfortunate to hear that these two tracks represent Obscure Evil's last output as they have decided to put the band to rest.


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