Below/Anguish Split 7” EP (2013)
Dark Descent Records
Review by Jude Felton
There aren’t many labels that consistently release the quality that Dark Descent have, over the last year or so. I’m pretty sure that I have bought just about everything they have released recently, whether it be on CD, Cassette or Vinyl, and this split 7” was a blind buy, due to this very fact.
Whereas the Colorado-based label may be more known for their crushing death metal releases, this split 7” ventures heavily into doom territory, with two cracking bands from Sweden. The two songs contained here, with one from each band, although both under the doom umbrella, contrast perfectly to deliver an essential release.
First up, for no reason other than I played it first, is newcomers Below, from Nykoping. This is their first release, with a debut to follow next year on Metal Blade, and it’s a terrific introduction. Taking their cues from the more classical doom, such as Candlemass, Below deliver their style of music with clean, soaring vocals accompanying the song. Trapped Under Ground is a hell of a song, which if it is anything to go by, bodes incredibly well for their, now eagerly awaited, debut album.
A quick flip of the disc and we get treated to Uppsala’s Anguish. This young five-piece formed in 2007 and released their debut a couple of years ago (which I now need to pick up). For this single they have given us Anvil of Worlds, which is a more crushing style of doom; the style that slowly drains your very being. It drives forward, ever so slowly, demolishing the listener, with J. Dee’s vocals a guttural delight.
Both tunes clock in at around 6 ½ minutes, but I assure you that once you play this animal through you are going to want to hear more of both bands. This is a quite exceptional single, both in terms of the music contained on it, and the packaging from Dark Descent, which itself shows that the label care about the fans as well as the music itself.
Available on both clear and black vinyl from DD’s online store, this is one journey into doom that you are going to want to take.
Below - Trapped Under Ground
Anguish - Anvil of Worlds
The Below/Anguish Split 7" EP is available now from Dark Descent Records.