Neolithic / Martyrdod – Split Review

There are only two songs here, so that doesn’t give anyone a whole lot to sink their teeth into. Still, any new Martyrdöd is cause for celebration, so here we go…

Release date: February 15, 2018. Label: Deep Six
Composed of current and former members of Swarm Of The Lotus, Putrisect, Pulling Teeth, and Ruiner, Maryland’s Neolithic gets side A of this split, and their take on filthy death / sludge is well-done, if not hugely memorable in this instance. (Of the two songs I’ve heard from these newcomers, I prefer the violence of “Blinded,” which is available on their Bandcamp as a name-your-price download and is the first song released from their forthcoming Cult Of Ignorance album.) “Inner Adversary” rides tar-caked guitar tones through a crusty death metal first half, before slowing down to an appropriately sludgy crawl for the back half. It’s in that back half that “Inner Adversary” shines most, with a simple and yet very effective riff and some almost blackened croaks from vocalist Evan Harting.

It’s certainly ambitious to pair up with a killer band, so I gotta give Neolithic credit for have the cojones to come out of the gate alongside one of the finest bands in the crust scene. While they absolutely don’t embarrass themselves, by any stretch, perhaps its somewhat inevitable that they’re also overshadowed by their partners here.

Martyrdöd has always been one of the highlights of the Swedish d-beat pack, even before they blew the doors off the scene with the masterful Eldopp in 2014. Adding that Bathory-indebted sense of melody to the Anti-Cimex base that so many have used to such great effect, Martyrdöd stands taller than all but the best of d-beaters, and here, “War Of Worlds” is a fine example of how and why. Five minutes of catchy riffing, punk drumming, raw-throated screams, and melodic guitar leads – what’s not to love? For anyone keeping score, here’s another feather in Martyrdöd’s collective cap, and a song that would’ve fit snugly on their last album, and hopefully one that previews more of the same quality for whatever comes next.

This type of split is a tough beast – with a single song each, a band has no choice but to swing for the fences and hope they hit for a home run, because there’s only one shot. Martyrdöd has been knocking them out of the park consistently for years now, so their trip around the bases is no surprise. Neolithic has a solid swing, and to continue a metaphor that’s gone on too long now, they at least get on base to keep the game going. Still, for them, I’ll be awaiting what the rest of Cult Of Ignorance has to show before I’m completely sold.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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