Thursday 29 August 2019

Oaken/Marnost - Split

Labels: Bookhouse Records/Catanarchy Records/Dingleberry Records/Dzsukhell Rekords/IFB Records/Itai Itai Records/Middle-Man Records/Music For Liberation/Prejudice Me Records/Rotten Raven/THC+DIY Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 09 Apr 2014

1. Oaken - I Am The Crucifix
2. Oaken - Redeember
3. Marnost - Die Hamletmasch

Well it's been a few days and I've been enjoying the last bank holiday weekend that we'll get this year, hence the lack of posts. That's partly why I've decided to do another Zegema Beach Records roster review (alliteration to the max!). This one features experimental Hungarian hardcore band Oaken and Czech heavy band Marnost. This LP contains two songs by Oaken and one by Marnost. It was released in 2014 by a whole host of labels, that'll be linked to below.

Oaken’s opener I Am The Crucifix begins like some sort of occult black metal song with low chanting and ambience before menacing guitar work takes over. Essentially, they are a hardcore band with black metal and doom leanings, which means their sound is heavy. At times it’s fast and others it’s slower and more progressive, which is very much driven by the percussion and the bass. Oaken’s creativity is obvious throughout and their barbaric approach to their delivery is astounding.

After that seven-minute plus opener, Redeemer goes even longer and harder and shows Oaken in an even more cinematic light (even it that light is quickly fading to darkness). The mix of growls and pitches go to show that they’re very much a fully collaborative unit and the clean female vocals later on are a fantastic touch that add extra weight to the music. This really has everything. I slept on this for so long.

Marnost’s sole contribution to this split is equal to both the previous songs on it, so it’s intriguing to listen to it and see how it matches up. Die Hamletmasch is immediately a mote down-tempo song with huge lumbering riffs and loads of swirling feedback. It has more of a rawness but that’s fine. There’s subtle melody and the occasional screams nestling in the background as it builds. Noisy is probably the most apt descriptor for this. 

Around the four-and-a-half-minute mark it almost falls silent before gentle guitar takes over, alongside whispered lyrics. There’s still a feeling though that once again Marnost are about to explode and as the volume increases and the band whirrs back into life with the help of ringing cymbal crashes, there’s no room for cowering. What follows is fast black metal mixed with post-hardcore, which like Oaken before it, is really engaging. The final passage featuring the spoken word sample will have the hairs standing up on the back of you neck.

It seems that both bands were destined to be on a split together. Both are fantastic and if you missed this when it was originally (like I did!), you should pick up a copy now. 

Stream the split and purchase it digitally (name-your-price) below:-

Grab physical copies from the labels below (well the ones that still have stock):-

Dingleberry Records And Distribution -

Music For Liberation -
Prejudice Records And Distro -

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