Last weekend, my hometown was inundated by a slew of great and varied doom metal bands with the third annual Descendants of Crom festival. This is the ideal time of the year for the dark and gloomy stuff anyway, and this music always sounds best when the temperatures drop, and the darkness creeps even further into our days. Never mind it’ll be 90 here next week
On that note, Riff Merchant and Fuzzy Cracklins Presents have teamed up for a split pairing two massive European doom bands that perhaps have flown under a bunch of people’s radars to this point, though this seven-track monster should help alleviate some of this (albeit the album is a limited run of 150). On this release, you’ll find three tracks from Nordic trio Magmakammer and four cuts from Italian mashers Sangue that work really well together but don’t really sound much like each other, which gives a huge smoke cloud of variety. The Magmakammer songs come from their psyche-tinged May EP “Bloody Diamond,” and these work really well as spooky, super-charged blasts that might remind some of the eerie Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Sangue’s contributions come from their April self-titled full-length, and the band plays with sounds that sometimes feel like they’d originate from the American southwest, all the while burying you in devastating power and strong clean singing that makes them mysterious.
“With Devilish Lust” starts with eerie synth and a storm brewing before ominous guitars set in and chew up the terrain. Fuzzy high vocals give off that Uncle Acid vibe, while the cool, alluring chorus has Ulrik Jacobsen wailing, “They’re calling for you now.” Chilling. The solo then bubbles and smokes before fading off into the fog. “Bloody Diamond” has riffs trudging and breaking through rock as punchy melodies and fuzzed-out singing chew at your flesh. The chorus is another rouser, while the soloing has a vintage finish that burns through your senses. The back end is sweltering and fun, coming to a fiery crash of an ending. “Acid Delusions” brings the mood down on purpose and into the shadows with acoustics haunting and shakers numbing, as Jacobsen warns, “Run for your life and save your soul.” The track remains in the dark, picking up echo and going over “time after time, lies after lies” as the track fades into oblivion.
“Mharles Canson” kicks off Sangue’s section, and it is a bluesy, rumbling, heavy instrumental that features random clips of … you guess it … A.C. Cowlings. Just kidding. It’s Charles Manson. That groove slices in, ending with Manson’s weird boast of, “I don’t need to kill anyone.” “Monday Song” is murky and jolting with howled singing and scorching leads that leave burn marks behind. The flames keep rising, choking you out, filling your lungs, as a stop-start assault leads to a jerking finish. “In the Cave” is the longest track, running a healthy 11:03 as the bass slides and plods into the system before the menace is unleashed in full. The track melts into desert echo, as calls of, “We come in peace and war,” prod with heavily accented voice, which sounds super cool. The track continues to bend and split through danger, bursting and splattering fluids and later pounding with authority. The soloing catches on and spreads its heat as the song goes out into the sunset. “Hell You” ends the Sangue selection by entering with a cool gait, mixing bluesy and lava-based guitars before the bottom drops and destroys. A killer, energetic chorus adds more power, raspy vocals leave their marks, and the track ends in a pile of cinders and ash.
I’ve said many times that I love a split recording that can expose people to new artists, and truth be told, I didn’t know a lot about either band until Riff Merchant sent this my way. Both Magmakammer and Sangue are powerful entities that have a similar doom core but branch out in different directions, which makes each side of this a wondrous discovery. It’s also cool to have two new dark entities in my sphere of influence as I dig deeper into their past works and look forward to their futures.
For more on Magakammer, go here: https://www.facebook.com/magmakammer
For more on Sangue, go here: https://www.facebook.com/sangue03/
To buy the album, go here: https://www.riffmerchant.com/product/magmakammer-vs-sangue-split