Konflict/Reek Of The Unzen Gas Fumes – Split (2016)

I’ve been waiting a long time to review this split, which actually came out sometime last year. The first act is a black/death/grind/noise/industrial act called Konflict from Sri Lanka. We know there are three members in the act, but have no idea as to who does what, or what bands they’ve been in prior to the act – nothing. Yet when you hear a band like this that mixes industrialism with fiery black metal riffs, thick drum abrasions and a sort of gurgling that sounds like they’ve captured a beast from the Necronomicon and gave it the fucking microphone (seriously, this thing sounds inhuman as hell, what are they up to in Sri Lanka?) you start to get a bit curious. The sound is obviously raw, but it seems to fit the absolutely heinous nature of the material, which is by far unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I’m telling you folks, if you put the fucking Cloverfield monster on the vocals, this is what it would sound like. This is beyond the normal gurgle… this is something, I just can’t even fucking describe. Summon a literal demon from the abyss, give him a microphone and this is what you get. This is the kind of sound that would preachers shit their pants (Not sure if that includes Jesse Custer though) and convince religious congregations that the devil is real. The interesting thing about these demonic pieces is that they all have relatively intelligent titles. For instance, we’ve got “To Erase The Eelam Parasite” , “Decoding The Aryan Survival Cipher”, “Epignetic Hate Transmission” and others. Sometimes throughout the twenty-four minute EP we’ll even get utterances that sound like they’re on two different dimensional planes. What in the hell is going on over there? Sometimes we’re even barreled over with torrents of noise. Huge mounds of atmospheric noise such as the album’s opener “Aryan Cytoarchitecture and The Handle Of A Weapon Or Tool” or the aforementioned “Decoding The Aryan Survival Cipher.” I’m not sure if these guys play live, but they’re definitely not the kind of act you hear everyday. I’m rather quite impressed and I hope that we’ll get to hear more from this awesome trio in the future. Maybe somewhere deep within this thick monstrosity lies the future of grind itself. That remains to be seen.

The next act we have on the split is Reek Of The Unzen Gas Fumes, which is a blackened grindcore act of complete insanity whose lyrics seem to be based on anti-Buddhism, sadism and radical Japanese nationalism according to Metal Archives. That third one’s a real whammy, especially if you’re a US citizen because of rather obvious reasons. From what I’ve researched, some of these right-wing (yes, they have right and left winged political movements in Japan as well) movements are tied directly to the yakuza, which doesn’t surprise me. In any case, the approach the listener is getting here is one of force, fire and absolute insanity. It’s not always as crazy as “Dehumanizing Cesspool For Future of Humanity” as “Doku” displays with it’s weirdness and much slower tempo, but for the most part these guys feature an extremely raspy vocalist that melds with static in a way that he sounds like an angered television set. We do know that INHKR is behind the guitar, bass and drum programming and that 9300FGB is the vocalist, but no one knows what Warcrime Rapist does. At any rate, this an entirely interesting grindcore act with enough depth and originality to stand out among their peers. I realize that while I’ve mentioned it already, I need to reiterate that these guys are completely fucking insane as far as the performance is concerned and the complete polar opposite of what we’re seeing portrayed as Japanese heavy music as far as the media is concerned.

This is the extremely heavy underground shit that you were looking for and you’ll be extremely happy to have one of only 66 copies in print of this cassette only release. You’d also be extremely lucky. I’m going to give this the highest possible score I can give as I’ve heard nothing quite like it in the grindcore scene, but it was released quite a while ago and I can’t spotlight it as I normally would have. Just take it as a sign that you need to find a way to get a hold of this split somehow. Some of the material from both of these bands is surprisingly available on Bandcamp, but this split cassette is limited and not even I have a copy of it, just a digital promo with a low bit-rate quality. Even so, that’s enough for me to prove to you that these bands are fucking phenomenal in the grind scene and you’ve really got to hear them both for yourself. I tend to like Konflict more, but wouldn’t turn down either act. The Grim Tower highly recommends this split EP, so definitely give it a listen. You’ll find a way.

(18 Tracks, 46:00)

10/10

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