Split releases are the lifeblood of the underground heavy music scene (or at least, the plasma within a greater stream). I've sung their praises many times, but feel especially vindicated when a split like this one crosses my desk. On this one, we're treated to the blessed union of Cloud Rat—the genre-bending, grind-doom-noise-punk-metal phenoms to whom I've devoted an almost embarrassing amount of digital ink over the years—and the UK's Moloch, who continue to be truly excellent purveyors of tense, rancid sludge forged in the grand Northern English tradition.
Moloch contributes two mammoth tracks whose resolute dedication to hammering out the most distorted, decimating doom possible add an interesting balance to Cloud Rat's tendency to flit from genre to genre like extremely pissed antifascist hummingbirds. The latter even embrace their not-so-inner goths on "Amber Flush," a surprisingly minimal electronic track that finds vocalist Madison's voice floating over crackling synths. It ends Cloud Rat's side of the split on a spooky note, and makes the drop into Moloch's "The Ninth Wave + Bloody North" even more of a visceral shock.
As Cloud Rat told us, "We worked hard af on this new material. Hope y'all dig the goth track along with the grind and prog elements. CR is ecstatic to share a release with our UK mates in Moloch, one of the heaviest bands in existence. Long live friendship. Fuck cops and fuck fascism."
Moloch added, "These songs came from our pit. They express our unease at the commitment of the human race to be as vile as possible and were partially dreamt up while laying facedown on the side of the motorway after having a seizure. However, Cloud Rat are a light in that darkness. We were very lucky to spend some time on tour with Cloud Rat and are now joined together forever."
This split marks the first of the many (like seriously, many) releases that Cloud Rat plans to put out this year, and if the seven tracks here are any indication, you're probably going to need to buy all of them. Listen below, and preorder this beautiful document of extreme metal friendship from Halo of Flies (in North America) and Feast of Tentacles (EU/UK).
Kim Kelly is honestly pretty friendly on Twitter.
Photo of Cloud Rat by Teddie Taylor