The fall of mankind is a popular thematic device for many an extreme metal or crust punk band, and, appears in a star turn on the new split from Cara Neir and Wildspeaker. The collaborative LP from these two Texan outfits focuses on the dystopian aftermath of an apocalyptic event, replete with The Road-style cannibalism, though as Cara Neir's Garry Brents (who also mastered the album) explains, "It's not necessarily in a graphic shock value way, but more about the psychological effects of a subject in dire circumstances. He not only resorts and succumbs to it, but experiences a duality of embracing it for survival, yet detesting himself and the world he lives in."
On this release, perennial chameleons Cara Neir show off a tidy post-punk influence alongside the expected bursts of screamo, post-rock, and depressive black metal luster (bump "Ego Eats Man" to see what I mean") as well as more urgent moments of grind and technical flourishes. True to form, they're already getting ready to release a cheery new full-length, Perpetual Despair Is the Human Condition, on October 14, and it'll undoubtedly see them flip the script once again.
Wildspeaker, on the other hand, adhere a bit more rigidly to the black metal/crust party lines scratched out in blood by Iskra and their ilk. They nail that metallic kangpunk clang, the shredded-throat vocals, the diving riffs, and especially the murky atmosphere ("First Taste of Flesh" is an eerie standout, and I fucking dare you to get the churning central riff on "Sins of Desperation" out of your head). The final result is damn near perfect, and now all I can think about is how antsy I am to hear more material from them.
Listen for yourself right here. The album is out digitally and on cassette September 16 via Broken Limbs; preorders are live now.
Kim Kelly is staying hungry on Twitter.