Wednesday 18 January 2023

Massa Nera/Thisismenotthinkingofyou/Yo Sbraito/Ef'il - Split

Labels: Adorno Records/Blessed Hands Records/Dead Tank Records/Dingleberry Records/Pundonor Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 26 Jul 2018


1. Massa Nera - Un Mal Cola De Hadas

2. Massa Nera - Doing Nothing For Other Is The Undoing Of Ourselves

3. Thisismenotthinkingofyou - Sonambulance I

4. Thisismenotthinkingofyou - Sonambulance II

5. Yo Sbraito - Cosa Nostra

6. Yo Sbraito - Condanna

7. Yo Sbraito - Rapina

8. Ef'il - Everyone I Know Is A Broken Heart

9. Ef'il - Stockades

Back in July/August of 2018, this 4-way split featuring Massa Nera (USA), Thisismenotthinkingofyou (UK), Yo Sbraito (Italy) and Ef'il (Malaysia) was released. I was lucky enough to be able to premiere both tracks from Thisismenotthinkingofyou here but when I was sorting out my review schedule the other week, I realised that I hadn't written about it in full (at least to me knowledge anyway). It was a joint release by Adorno Records, Blessed Hands Records, Dead Tank Records, Dingleberry Records, Pundonor Records and Zegema Beach Records.

I’ve been sharing the Massa Nera love a little bit on here recently, so it won’t hurt to throw out some more thanks to their opening tracks on this split. ‘Un Mal Cola De Hadas’ is their first and it was the first newly recorded material to hit wax following Los Pensamientos Do Una Cara Palida was released (I think?). It’s an exhilarating mix of both instrumental emo and intense screamo with their signature Spanish vibe. Their second song ‘Doing Nothing For Others Is The Undoing Of Ourselves’ is one that builds anticipation, once again due to the instrumental build-ups that Massa Nera do so well. This time though, the heaviness that follows is a little more off-kilter, accentuated by the organic rawness of the recording. I hope that I’ve got the track order right here, as it differs online in places.

Next up on the split comes two songs from a band that are now sadly departed from the UK scene. Thisismenotthinkingofyou delivered cathartic screamo during their existence and ‘Sonambulance I’ represents them at their darkest. Drenched in near-black metal atmosphere, the screams deeper in the mix and the instrumentation awash with metallic echoes. ‘Sonambulance II’ follows on as if both songs should have never been separated. More visceral and beautiful than I remember. Gone but not forgotten.

Following Timntoy’s otherworldly calmness, Italy’s Yo Sbraito deliver three songs that are over as quickly as the time taken to write this sentence. ‘Cosa Nostra’ sub one-minute barrage of intense post-hardcore hits a different part of you brain before ‘Cordanna’s mix of fast and slow dynamics keep you guessing as to where they’re going next. Their final song ‘Rapina’ doesn’t keep you guessing for very long as Yo Sbraito’s feedback-drenched hardcore darts from fast to slow, before silence. I’m not sure if these guys are still making music together but it would be criminal if they weren’t.

Closing with Malaysia’s Ef’il, you’re treated to the most violent yet mesmeric music that the country has to offer. ‘Everyone I Know Is A Broken Heart’ is without doubt the heaviest song on this split initially but Ef’il take great care in weaving endearing guitar melody into their music, which is prevalent during the introspective mid-section before things slowly descend into noisier territory. Their second and final song ’Stockades’ is no easy listen either, focusing on more of a noise-rock approach with some shoegaze-like elements too. It’s a real heart-wrenching song musically as so much attention is paid to the quieter sections, which sit perfectly against the band’s chaotic half. I hope Ef’il release new music again, but that hope may be futile.

As I’ve said many times before, split records like this are utterly essential. The four bands showcased here really compliment each other while also being totally unique in their own right. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t let time nor music pass you by. Enjoy what you listen to and embrace those you love.

You can stream and purchase it digitally below:-

Massa Nera -

Thisismenotthinkingofyou -

Yo Sbraito -

Ef'il -

You can pick up physical/digital copies from the labels below too:-

Adorno Records -

Pundonor Records -

Blessed Hands Records -

Dead Tank Records -

Dingleberry Records -

Pundonor Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

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