Monday, April 4, 2016

Department Of Correction/Agathocles Split EP (2016)

The following is a split between two extremely diverse acts from France and Belgium. The first one we have here is France's Department Of Correction (DOC for short) and five tracks of relatively decent grind with some segues into brutal death metal that come off without a hitch, but don't exactly leave a real mark on me. So I think about it for a second and wonder, “what was it about this split that fascinated me enough to want to promote it?” Then I was immediately answered with the only offering (unfortunately) from Belgium's Agathocles. They're described as a sludge act with grind elements or “grinding sludge” but that's actually a lie – I think it was made only to try to get the attention of grind fans, but there's absolutely no grind to be found within this masterpiece of sheer depravity. Grind comes and goes, but “Into My Crypts” is the kind of track that I'll remember for a long time to come. It sounds extremely thick and filthy, very raw and full of static. But they do it unlike anyone else I've ever heard. The vocals are just...unreal. I mean, it sounds like the man is lumbering towards death, especially close to the end of the song, where it begins to feel like he's hanging onto the last shard of his humanity. There's a creepy synth effect in the background, which is actually where the song first starts – and this is revisited several times throughout the madness. Described on the album cover as “slumbering sludge” I still feel there's a bit of psychotic madness not being properly echoed in this description. This is literally the sound that the undead would make if they could make music, and literally sounds like it's being played by actual zombies. Actual fucking undead. Everything from the way the track is made, to the inhuman sounds that bellow forth from their gaping holes makes me think of zombies that had regained some of their humanity overtime and remembered that they were metal musicians. Since their verbal skills had dwindled, all that comes out are horrendous noises by which no human could utter. Someone might actually want to fly out to Belgium to make sure these gentlemen are indeed still among the living. I'm serious. I've heard a lot of doom and sludge before, but this is new on me. Again, you'll get five songs of serious grind, but the sludge track is really where it's at. I've listened to the damn thing four or five times already because I seriously can't get enough of that song. This split is actually worth getting your hands on, at least until Agathocles release a full-length record with that track on it. Maybe I'm a bit biased here, but at least it's the truth. (The Grim Lord)


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