April 24, 2008 | | 3.5

V/A, The Sick, The Dead, The Rotten Part II

Brought to you by The Spew Records, The Sick, The Dead, The Rotten Part II is the second installment in an ongoing series. This time around, the three way split is between Mumakil, Obtuse and Third Degree and offers up a sweet array of grinding, pummeling metal in the form of 19 hell raising tracks in just under 38 minutes.

First up is Mumakil. Their nine tracks of metallic grindcore will leave you bloody and sore for hours. Deep guttural vocals combine with driving, noisy riffs and crashing drums to create a chaotic mass of sound that is as impressive as it is powerful. The next six tracks come courtesy of Obtuse, a band from the Netherlands that puts together infectious grooves with pummeling grind. The main vocals come across a bit rough/raw at times, but the music more than makes up for that unfortunate side effect. Bring up the rear in this split are Third Degree. This Polish outfit wraps up the disc with four hardcore influenced grinding tracks in the vain of Napalm Death.

The first track on the disc, and the first for Mumakil, opens up with a Napalm Death like riff before devolving into a mass of noise and chaos with a huge scream. The grind onslaught is accompanied by vocals that range from brutal death guttural growls to hardcore styled shouts and barks. The song ends shortly after a minute into it.

“II” is just as brutal as the opening track, but utilizes duel vocals combining impossibly guttural growls with higher end shrieks and shouts. Musically, this is a beast of a track — non stop drumming, caustic riffs and pummel bass. After a minute it’s over and we’re onto the next song.

I love the opening riff to this next track as the vocals and drums come in. There’s a great groove flowing through this one as guttural growls and shredding riffs destroy your speaks. “III” definitely needs to played real loud.

Crushing riffs and maniacal drumming greet you as “IV” gets going. This is probably my favorite song of this set. It’s got everything you want in a grinding metal ass kicking. Chugging riffs, crashing drums and aggressive vocals work together to whoop the world’s collective asses.

A nice bit of drumming and a Napalm Death inspired riff starts off this next track and more layered, duel vocals tear through your ears. The groove on this one is undeniable and addictive as fuck.

Pummeling drums and noisy guitars kicks in your teeth at the onset of “VI.” Man, I can’t seem to get enough of this band. Their take on grinding death metal is like crack.

Flying through each track like a bullets through flesh, Mumakil open up “VII” with a sick bit of bass work and drumming before opening up the vocal attack. This is an aggressive assault on the senses as the band crashes through riff after memorable riff. An awesome song with a balance between brutality and groove.

A great opener to “VIII” gets us going with guttural barks that shift in to a midrange hardcore delivery mixed with higher end shrieks. I love the coagulating slowdown at the :40 mark. That’s just sick.

The final song in Mumakil’s section starts off with a slew of screams and driving riffs. This is impressive grind with a thrash element thrown in to boot. I love the rambling bass in the second half of the song. And like that, Mumakil’s portion of this three-way split is over and we’re onto Obtuse.

Recognition is contemporary
Obtuse open up the second third of the split with hardcore influenced grinding and gruff vocals. The drums on this one are raw and uncompromising. The crushingly slow assault after the two minute mark is suffocating and soul crushing.

Bob Ross
Bob Ross was this painter that had a television program that showed every day folks how to paint. I used to watch it all the time as a little kid and so, apparently, did the dudes in Obtuse. The track starts out with some spoken lyrics before the band erupts into a sub one minute duel vocal, grinding kick in the ass.

“Away” starts off with an amazing, sludgy riff straight out of the stoner metal handbook. The band quickly abandons the swampy riffs and gets back to their grinding exploits with more memorable riffing and chaotic drum work. I love the gruff delivery for the chorus.

That Mirryll
This next one starts off slowly with a variety of layered sound clips before a big riff and heavy drums kick in. This one is all over the place in terms of tempo changes, vocal deliveries and flow. It’s definitely a stand out track for me in Obtuse’s section of the disc.

The day that started wrong
“The day that started wrong” starts off with a hilarious sound clip as the band quickly shifts into grinding metal and raw vocal attack. This one is chaotic grind at it’s best.

I thought that R’n B shit would be over by now
What the fuck? The start of this one confused the hell out of me as it incorporates some cheesy ass R&B. Thankfully, it only lasts a couple of moments as the band hits with a sludgy, grinding mass of metal. The lyrics allude to a story of selling out for commercial success — in not so family friendly way. It’s a great way to end one’s portion of the split.

Gorilla Fight
Third Degree open up the last half of the split with “Gorilla Fight.” After a brief clip of apes making all kinds of noise, the band decides to make a little of their own. Thick guitars and beefy drums get the pace going as hardcore shouted vocals join in. The band so far has one hell of an aggressive edge to their music.

Death to the villagers
The next track is another pummeling song complete with layered shouts and grinding riffage. I love the shift to a more groove orient bit of metal around the 35 second mark — head banging fun ensues. This is a great fucking track.

Ether Mary
“Ether Mary” starts out with distorted vocals before the band gets into a sludgy, repetitive section before shifting into a staggered grind attack. This one has an interesting slow down just before the one minute mark with sung vocals that give it an odd creepy feel. Also, there’s a strong Helmet (In The Meantime era) influence to the track.

Values Without Values
The final track on the disc is probably the band’s strongest, as well. There’s a bunch of stuff going on within the few minutes that it exists. Grinding blasts mix with inventive guitars as the vocals shift from gruff shouts to that creepy singing and back again. The explosion of sound at the 1:17 mark is pretty beefy.

~ ~ ~

A three way split combining some of the best and innovative grind acts out there together — why didn’t I think of it first. This disc is a blast to listen to. Each band has their own distinct sound, yet their individual talents work well off of one another to make this a near seamless listen that is simply enjoyable. But, if I had to pick a favorite band on the album, it would be Mumakil. Their nine track section was succinct, to the point and I simply wanted more and more of their grinding metal after each subsequent listening. I’m already waiting for Part III in the series.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: