TORRID HUSK/END “Swallow Matewan” review and full Bandcamp stream

Beloved Athenian black metal unit END make the wait easier for the successor of their fantastic 2009’s opus “III” , by rounding up great collaborations. Last year it was the excellent and conceptual “Moerae” 3-way split-LP that they’ve shared with two rising forces of GRBM: AWE and VACANTFIELD.

2001666 finds End joining forces with allies from the other side of the Atlantic, namely TORRID HUSK from West Virginia. Not having listened to the latter until this split and with their name burning my brain as I’m always in doubt if it’s Torrid Husk or Horrid Tusk, their side is this record’s real surprise for me.

Their black metal is majestic and lyrical, while remaining essential. Style-wise they release similar vibes to other contemporary U.S.B.M. acts such as Ash Borer, Fell Voices, Thantifaxath, and the Crepusculo Negro clan (especially Arizmenda and Volahn).  Their side’s last track “Rhododendron”  is a fucking anthem!

End take it from there on side B and they’re in great shape with their new vocalist Aaron Carey from Nechochwen (also from West Virginia) and drummer Maelstrom (Dephosphorus, ex-Ravencult, Dodsferd, etc) – both of them having already appeared in “Moerae”.

The three songs on offer here, moulded in their distinct personal style,  flow wonderfully. From Virga’s doom intro to the break with the sample that follows before the acceleration, leading to the ritualistic, atmospheric instrumental “Existential Litany”, which paves the way to the highlight of their contribution which is no other than their cover to Amebix’s “Winter”. They’ve succeeded in interpreting the latter in such an amazing way, that they have transformed it into their own song!

Overall, this collaboration stands out from the majority of “my side, your side” type of splits. Torrid Husk and End propose a concept based on their common worldviews . They deal with the ecosystem’s destruction, industrialization versus nature worship, and the eternal prevalence of nature upon human vanity. This extends from the lyrics to the cover artwork by Sergio Padovani depicting furious sea waves that swallow the man-machine.

Last but not least, the split has been named after the events of the Battle Of Matewan, a gun fight between striking coal miners and private detectives in 1920 in Matewan, a small town of West Virginia.

Without further ado, the full record can be streamed here. It is set for release on the 23rd of September, 2016.


Posted on by panos.agoros in black metal, Music

About panos.agoros

Music and computers. The same two passions that Panos has ever since he was a kid, have defined the path that he would follow in life. He studied computer science in Paris-France in the early/mid 90's and is an IT engineer, providing since 1999 Mission Critiical support for enterprise environments. He is also known to be a retro hardware scavenger and old computer collector. His love for music pushed him to become actively involved in the scene. From November 1995 until the early 00's he ran Chaotik Webzine, a pioneering music webzine and the first to provide coverage for both the metal & hardcore underground. He is for the last 15 years an editor of Metal Hammer Greece, the biggest music magazine in the country. He rans a small record label and distro, Blastbeat Mailmurder, and is also the vocalist/lyricist of critically and fan acclaimed astrogrind outfit Dephosphorus. In his lost hours he does field recordings and manipulates sound waves for his experimental noise/ambient Kommpound.

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