Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cemetery Filth, Ectovoid, Sabbatory, TrenchRot - 4 Doors To Death (Unspeakable Axe, 2016)

When I was first discovering death metal, seemingly a lifetime ago, one of the first tapes that I ever bought was a compilation "In The Eyes Of Death" that was released by Century Media and included bands that I still love to this day (Unleashed, Asphyx, Tiamat, Grave and Loudblast). Now, many years later, I am listening to "4 Doors To Death" and there is a real sense of deja vu as it presents four excellent bands in Cemetery Filth, Ectovoid, Sabbatory and TrenchRot and manages to recreate that same feeling of discovery all over again.

Brought about by one of the quality underground metal labels Unspeakable Axe, "4 Doors To Death" is clearly a release that has been prepared and created with dedication and a good understanding of the music itself. Based upon presentation alone this was bound to be a winner as each band has been supplied with individual artwork and a separate booklet that reflects their own unique style, thereby making it a definite physical purchase though it is also available digitally if you are so inclined.

As to the four bands themselves, each fits together perfectly, as you would expect given that death metal remains the common thread throughout, yet there is also no denying that they work individually as well. If anything, this is proof positive that there is far more to the "old school" death metal revival than just looking backwards as each band does bring their own sense of identity to the table whilst still paying homage to the past and, as a result, "4 Doors To Death" carries a bit more relevance than many split releases.

So there you have it, as far as I am concerned, "4 Doors To Death" is an outstanding example of how to do a split release that works as a cohesive whole but also gives each individual artist an opportunity to showcase their talents at the same time. Sure, there's that inevitable sense of nostalgia at work but that doesn't change the fact that Unspeakable Axe have set the bar pretty high as far as split releases go and this means that, in the end, everyone involved is shown in the best possible light which, ultimately, is the whole point of such a release.