Unspeakable Axe Records may just be the official farm team of the death metal underground. If you need proof beyond their already stellar roster, look no further than the label’s upcoming 4-way split, 4 DOORS TO DEATH. Featuring a bloodthirsty who’s who of the North American scene right now, it’s a glorious exaltation of putrefaction, viscera and OSDM.
Tennessee’s Cemetery Filth have the opening honors, offering up a blend of Asphyx by way of Autopsy gutter grind that’s sure to please. Hot off of last year’s SCREAMS FROM THE CATACOMBS EP, the three new tunes are a step up in execution and songwriting, forgoing the usual concepts of death and dying for more celestial nods.
With a couple of full lengths already under their belt, Alabama’s Ectovoid are the most established band on the split. Taking a more death/doom approach, you’ll find nods to the likes of Incantation, Druid Lord, and Funerus in their tunes. Sick, guttural and slow – it’s a great combination. “Ash Primordial” is a definite standout of the entire release.
Winnipeg’s Sabbatory crank their craft by way of Sweden circa ’92. Some definite flavors of classic Nihilist, but the speed injection from “Ascension to My Holy Tomb” is a welcome counterbalance to Ecotovoid’s slower assault. A little sloppy in places, but they get the point across.
Closing out 4 DOORS TO DEATH are two new tracks and a Death cover from Philly’s Trenchrot. 2014’s NECRONOMIC WARFARE was one of my favorite releases of that year; I can’t say enough good things about this band. Following the call of Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets, and God Dethroned, Trenchrot deliver punishing death metal through the lense of First World War combat. “Hell Pilot’s Call” is a slow moving, mid-tempo dirge, while “Powerful Kandarian Steel” charges forward with a greater sense of purpose. And I don’t think anyone will argue about closing the show with a cover of “Evil Dead”, thrashing into the abyss like tomorrow isn’t going to come.
With a gazillion bands saturating the underground death metal scene, it’s hard to know where to spend your time and money. Thankfully, Unspeakable Axe has done some of that work for you. For the old school and the old school at heart, 4 DOORS TO DEATH is a blast. Do some homework on the contributing bands and make it a point to check this out when it releases in January.
1. Cemetery Filth - Consumption of Volition
2. Cemetery Filth - Dagonian Dialect... the Obelisk
3. Cemetery Filth - Cosmic Wraiths
4. Ectovoid - Ash Primordial
5. Ectovoid - Possessed by Ancient Dread
6. Sabbatory - Ascension to My Holy Tomb
7. Sabbatory - Primordial
8. Trenchrot - Hell Pilot's Call
9. Trenchrot - Powerful Kandarian Steel
10. Trenchrot - Evil Dead (Death cover)
Neal Williams – Bass
Jonah Turner – Drums
Ryan Guinn – Guitars
Matt Kilpatrick – Vocals
Devin Kelley - Guitars