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Plotkin-mastered 2013 split pitting Oakland’s blackened crustcore terrorists against Australia’s well-loved doomaniacs.
The Negative Standards side (recorded at Earhammer studios by Brainoil and Deathgrave’s Greg Wilkinson) has two tracks, which run together. The longer one is full of harsh noise, nihilistic samples (from ‘Marat/Sade’– which the band also sampled on their last release– and ‘The X-Files’) and Dystopian sludge chords. Near the end they inject some Enslaved-like psychedelic Black Metal riffing into their usual His Hero Is Gone M.O. The shorter song is more direct. N.S. are definitely part of the same East Bay scene as Embers, Augurs, and Dead Man. Black Metal and Crust are perhaps hard to mix without getting lame but these types pull it off.
Whitehorse’s sidelong track is a total Sludge/Doom Metal death march. Here as well there are light elements of black metal in the form of a melodic tremolo riff, but the demonic doomcore bass and ocean-depths guttural vocals are still present. This band continues to sound like Corrupted, which is no mean feat. Some experimental/Industrial/drone elements are introduced early on and eventually end up eating everything else on the track. Both sides are killer, but Whitehorse continue to be some top-shelf intoxication. How are they so heavy? We’ll never know.
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