Review by JH
If you’re an enthusiast of underground extreme black/death, then I suppose there’s a good chance you’ve heard of these bands ― if not, allow me to introduce them.
Wargrinder is a black/death one-man endeavour featuring multi-instrumentalist, Terry Eleftheriou, who is probably better known as a drummer, with past collaborations in Naer Mataron, Crucifiction, Perdition Temple, etc. The project was formed in 2000, with its roots in Athens, Greece, although it’s now situated in Kópavogur, Iceland. Up until date, Wargrinder has put out various releases, including this, their third split.
Iconoclast Contra is a black/death/thrash four-piece from Salt Lake City, USA, featuring four twisted characters that go under the alias’ of R. Sodomizer (Bass), T. Hatefucker (Drums), LD Heretic Warfare (Guitars) and The Zodiac (Vocals), with the two latter members sharing a history in cult USBM band, Ibex Throne. They’ve put out a demo and full-length with the addition of this split.
Wargrinder kick things off with The edge of Wisdom, which mercilessly bludgeons the listener into a state of ulcerated trauma with lightning-fast blasts while Angelcorpse-esque rhythms weave and lurch their way through discordant structures behind them. Terry’s mid-pitch death grunts brings to mind Chris Volcano from Abominator, while the music has a few stylistic similarities to early Hate Eternal and Arkhon Infaustus. It’s an overpowering start to this split and sets the tone for what’s to come.
The music composed by our noble friend is fast, dynamic and performed with meticulous precision. There’s not much lacking in the performance, although I would possibly like to hear the band throw in more fast ripping solos as I believe that could add a whole new level of depth to the music. I think the most impressive part about the music, is not the necessarily the dynamics, but the fact that everything is done by one sole maniac. Wargrinder’s part includes five tracks.
The Edge of Wisdom
After ducking and diving for twenty-three minutes plus, Inconoclast Contra kicks me back into the pool of shit to further molest my already wretched ears with their savage, militant overtones. Chances you’ve heard Ibex Throne‘s brand of hateful black metal, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from Zodiac’s vocal delivery. He literally sounds like a man possessed, as he belches out some of the gnarliest vocals in all of extreme metal. I must say though, I find them slightly less impactful compared to how they were performed on Combat is the Voice of the Heathen ― they’re still good, but more death metal-ish. The guitars slice ‘n’ dice like a razor-sharp killing machine delivering the necessary goods, while the bass and drums add their roles respectively with a good performance overall. All instruments are prominently displayed, and emit a sort of “live” energy. A good thing to be said about Iconoclast Contra, is that they don’t sound like any other black/death band around.
Like our Greek tyrant, Iconoclast Contra offers five tracks of utterly menacing and brutal black/death of the highest pedigree, with such hateful overtones, you’ll feel mentally battered after listening to their side of the split.
Under the Banner of Martial Defiance
Wolfsect: Alpha Breed
This split is a statement in violence. It conjures images of a full-scale apolcalyptic war. An exercise in aural brutality stemmed from the dangerous minds of individuals with instruments as weapons. Both of these bands deliver top-shelf extreme metal in the purest sense, therefore, this split comes recommended.