Artist: Altars / Tzun Tzu
Album Title: Nepenthe... Sepulcher / Ko'muso
Label: Advoco Terra Sonitus
This is a two-track split CD from Altars and Tzun Tzu, two Australian bands playing death metal.
"Nepenthe... Sepulcher" has a bit more swagger and groove than Altars' demo did, but the band's twisted Morbid Angel style guitar work is still the main focus here. The sick, belched vocals are also top-notch, with a ton of expressive range -- these are some of the best vox I've heard in a long time. They're all over the map, ranging from diseased gurgles to screams. Likewise, the varied drumming and crazy tempo changes certainly kept my attention!
In contrast, most of Tzun Tzu's side of the split goes for unremitting speed. The steady stream of blasting and audible riffing is snapped apart by a number of abrupt breakdowns, while the growled vocals hold everything together. Incantation is the obvious point of comparison here, but this band throws in more than enough twisted riffs to make their style their own, especially when they slow things down after the four-minute mark... the solos here are exceptional!
This is a solid split, showing plenty of progression from Altars' and Tzun Tzu's earlier work. Sounds like even greater things are still to come from both bands! Recommended.