Thursday 26 November 2015

Cropsy Maniac/Burial Ground/Grave Wax/Severed Limbs - Four Paths To Horror Split


1. Cropsy Maniac - No Longer Human
2. Cropsy Maniac - Pale Nimbus
3. Cropsy Maniac - I Want To Make You Break
4. Cropsy Maniac - The Burning
5. Burial Ground - Last House On The Left
6. Burial Ground - They Dwell
7. Burial Ground - Mark Of The Devil
8. Grave Wax - I Spit On Your Grave
9. Grave Wax - All Things Morbid
10. Grave Wax - Transmuting Techno-Terror
11. Severed Limbs - Masticator Of Human Flesh
12. Severed Limbs - The Ultimate Prey

Anyone who buys physical tapes, cds or records will know that if you don't connect with the cover art, you probably won't connect with the music either. That's why I knew I'd like this as soon as that artwork! This four-band split was released in October via death obsessed US label Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. It comprises US bands Cropsy Maniac and Grave Wax, Belgium's Burial Ground and sporadic Swe-death band Severed Limbs.

Death metal’s long relationship with themes of horror continues on this split with the intense death/grind of Cropsy Maniac. They open the split with No Longer Human, which would be right at home on any slasher movie worth it’s salt. The band features ex-members of Blood Freak (Willowtip Records) amongst it’s rank, so you know what you’re getting if you like it fast! Talking of slasher movies, the riff at the beginning of Pale Nimbus sounds just like a chainsaw. Cropsy Maniac don’t take to a moments breath during their four songs. I Want To Make You Break contains maniacal dual-vocals and ridiculous double-bass. They close with The Burning, which like No Longer Human is slightly more considered (if that’s possible). The harrowing movie sample puts you on edge before they rip into two-and-a-half minutes of raw fury and wailing leads. Next up comes Belgian doom-death band Burial Ground. Last House On The Left is surprisingly groove-laden and is bulging with thick guitar riffs. Kam Lee (Death, Bone Gnawer, etc) makes a guest appearance on vocals here, providing blackened rasps. Burial Ground’s use of instrumental build-ups mark them out. It’s an approach that was used more commonly by the old-school and it’s great to hear a band staying true to the genre. They Dwell is fantastic and Burial Ground don’t make it too flashy. Sometimes, the simpler the better. That’s not to say they aren’t technical though! Their third and final track Mark Of The Devil hits it’s stride early on. The occult lyrics and catchy tempo continues their momentum and says goodbye to their doom-laden sound, albeit briefly. Grave Wax also features Kam Lee on vocals, as well as renowned extreme metal artists the Riddick brothers, so it’s got pedigree. This is whirlwind stuff from start to finish. Immediately noticeable by the drumming of Brian Forman, I Spit On Your Grave is intense! Equal parts raw-death and thrash. Intense is exactly the right word for Grave Wax. All Things Morbid might be one for the purists, but it’s catchy lead-work and deep-rumbling bass keeps you hooked. I was slightly disappointed that Transmuting-Techno Terror didn’t contain any techno, but joking aside I think this is Grave Wax’s standout track. The guitar work and random torture-implement samples remind you that proper death metal can be fun to listen to. Bands don’t all have to take themselves too seriously! Four Paths To Horror end with a duo of track from the effervescent Rogga Johansson and his project Severed Limbs. I’m not sure quite as to the status of this band. Masticator Of Human Flesh is pure lunacy. The Ultimate Prey follows after what I think is an unnecessary pause. It does however contain one of the most insane roars I’ve ever heard. I’m not sure if it’s a solo outing or not, but it doesn’t matter at all. This whole split is great from start to finish and if you like varied and gruesome death metal, this is for you.

You can stream and download the entire split here:-

As well as that, you can pick it up on CD and HPGD is also offering their entire discography in one giant bundle that equates to 35% off compared to buying it all individually. You should definitely take a look at that!

Cropsy Maniac Facebook -
Burial Ground Facebook -
Grave Wax Facebook -
Severed Limbs Metal-Archives -
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions Facebook -

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