ALPINIST / MASAKARI: Split: LP

Crusher of a split here! Alpinist and Masakari both crank out the dark and heavy stuff. Some would call it “epic crust.” Either way, the correct way to listen to this record is fuggin’ loud. Masakari are incredibly heavy. So much low end in their sound! I love how thick the bass is in the mix, and the seriously pummeling effect of the drums (check out the opening of “Progress”—rare that drums are so effectively recorded in the punk world). The vocals are a dry growl, without being completely Cookie Monster style. The songs range in tempo, using time changes effectively to give everything more punch and keep you interested throughout. The transition between “Hexenhammer” to “Modulation” is great and a perfect way to end the record: fast, huge in sound, and a total stomper. Alpinist, from Germany, are little less heavy, though no less effective in pulling you into the darkness the music creates. If anything, their songs are actually catchier (in a good way). The songs blaze, yet the crunching rhythms and slight time changes give the songs depth. “Subjection” uses a tried and true headbanging break that works every time. A little abrasive noise is added for texture as well. Pretty damn good. Nice artwork from Alex CF graces this as well.

 –M.Avrg (Halo Of Flies, halooffliesrecords.com)