I love a good split release. They're a short, usually inexpensive way to discover new music and support your favorite artists in between bigger releases, and sometimes you strike gold. Unspeakable Axe's upcoming 4 Doors to Death full-length split offers an excellent collection of modern death metal, and fans of both Horrendous and Chthe'ilist will find something to satisfy (though those seeking singalong choruses or In Flames worship would do well to look elsewhere). There are no weak links or disposable tracks, which says quite a lot about the quality of bands herein—Cemetery Filth, Ectovoid, Sabbatory, and Trenchrot.
With members split between Johnson City, TN and Atlanta, Cemetery Filth is sworn to the tenets of ancient death—roiling riffs, slimy solos, rattling rasps and all. Ectovoid represents a different kind of Southern darkness, peddling old-school death even as they find a blasphemous kinship with Demoncy's blackened crawl. The solo-happy Canadians in Sabbatory punch up the pace with a thrashier approach (just listen to that axe wail on "Primordial"), and Philly's Trenchrot bring the proceedings to a morbid end with a melodic take on vintage death. The latter's mastery of the form comes as no surprise when one considers the personnel wielding those riffs—Brooks Wilson and Steve Jansson of classic doom upstarts Crypt Sermon both play guitar for Trenchrot, and their grandiose sensibilites bleed through quite nicely on even the most straightforward sections.
Stream the whole damned thing below, and order a copy from Unspeakable Axe on February 19.
Kim Kelly is joined in darkness on Twitter.