Get Your Wig Split: Premiering Made as Those Who are No Longer Alive
Bone Chugs ‘n Harmony.
If you’ve ever wondered why Gatecreeper might appeal more to hardcore kids than death metal fanatics or how Guns Up! could nick a famous Entombed riff and risk everyone’s livelihoods with it, then this rowdy new split EP will show you why. Hardcore and Swedish death metal of the HM-2 variety share so many traits: reverence for snide punk attitudes; an aptitude for D-beats; an affinity for grindcore and blast beats; floor-caving two-steps; vocals that sometimes find the melody of the guitar riff but are just as often barked and even more often utterly unhinged; and, yes, all those beautiful breakdowns. If you or someone you love is afflicted with loving hardcore and hasn’t quite seen the death metal light, please send them the upcoming split from two Swedish slingers of sarcophagal sleaze Feral and Crawl. Titled Made as Those Who are No Longer Alive, this 4-song split that doesn’t even reach 12 total minutes is a perfect introduction to the uninitiated into the current and past states of what we call Swedeath. This is how we bridge the narcissism of minor differences, folks! This is how we unite the scenes!
Coming out this Friday, September 23, on label extraordinaire Transcending Obscurity, Made as Those… is an amuse bouche for fans of both Feral and Crawl who have been waiting ever so (im)patiently for new material from bands who, coincidentally, both released LPs in 2018. Folks will surely remember Costin Chioreanu’s outrageous artwork for Feral’s monstrous Flesh for Funerals Eternal, cover art that captured the band’s knack for writing demented riffs and David Nilsson’s unhinged delivery. Folks will also recall Crawl’s Rituals: dark, foreboding, infused with the energy of crusty hardcore, and sporting a mangy production quality that highlighted the band’s fun ferocity. Crucially, that’s what this split is: fun. It’s fun as hell. All 11:30 of it are a total party, a monster mash, a graveyard smash. And shouldn’t we be having as much fun as we can in ways that don’t hurt anybody?
Much to my current delight and your forthcoming delight, Feral and Crawl are still both at it on Made as Those… Feral’s two tracks, which nearly double the runtime of Crawl’s contributions, find the band pulling back ever so slightly on their delightfully deranged arrangements to go full barrel into classic Swedeath terrority. This is not a criticism! The plunge back into the Grave lets Nilsson’s beatdown belligerence take center stage, while also allowing guitarists Markus Lindahl and Sebastian Lejon to pick some choice moments to slop a squealing solo onto your maggot-covered steak. Almost certainly my favourite moment comes in “Released from the Bondage of Earth” when Lindahl and Lejon release their guitars from the bondage of recognizable tone. The band is bludgeoning forth a la Bloodbath when all of a sudden the guitars start short-circuiting. It’s a brief moment, something you might miss on your first pass, but it’s a thrilling reward to the keen listener. This is Feral at their most wild and raving, with everything nearly coming off the rails just as we careen towards the end.
Crawl wastes no time reminding folks what they do best: take HM-2 Swedeath and bastardize it with d-beat crust, raucous grindcore, and a splattering of hardcore attitude. “Where the Dead Flesh Whispers” opens with a chugging bass line with feedback and the click of a hi-hat setting the tone for what will be a blistering two minutes. Joachim Lyngfelt’s vocals at times bleed into the kind of tough-guy bark that you might hear coming out of New York or Cleveland, and he delivers a pitch perfect and echoing “Oooh!” before the ghouls get to moshin’ through the graveyard. Closer “Vanity” grinds the listener’s last remaining sense of sanity into cogno-dust before mercifully releasing what’s left of us into the ether with a cataclysmic album-closing breakdown.
Both bands see Made as Those… as a way to set the table for their impending full-length releases. Crawl’s side is a “hard-hitting warm-up” of “raw violence” that “aims to reverse the cross” while appeasing fans old and new. Feral’s side demonstrates the depth and “width” we should expect from their forthcoming album as the band looks to build on their ever-growing experience. Whenever they do arrive, fans of fellow labelmate’s Vomitheist will surely want to take note of Transcending Obscurity’s capacity to scoop up the best of the best of the current Swedeath crop.
And if, after all these words and superlatives and over-the-top Groovy Ghoulies language haven’t entirely sold you, how about this: you can pre-order this bad mamajama for one U.S. Dollar. That’s right—a single American doll hair will get you Made as Those Who are No Longer Alive. (As well as a plethora of other T.O. releases and pre-releases.) This is Econ 101, folks. You’re losing money if you don’t. You want more? Because T.O. is going to save you so much money on the digital release, that means you have ample greenbacks left over to order a limited-edition 8-panel CD, a cassette, a ridiculous two-toned raglan hoodie/zip-up, a Halloween-appropriate bright orange tank top, and all sorts of other merch that will tell the world, “I make sound financial investments.” See you in the pit, you porcelain poltergeists.