Record Store Day is seeing some rigorously compelling releases this year including the mouth-watering Sons Of Belial split featuring Bostonians Panzerbastard and Tenebrae. Consisting of six tracks forged from an animosity driven union of hardcore and imposing dark metal, the release is a rugged and bruising slab of uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll. Fierce sounds collude with lyrical and vocal antagonism as the two protagonists unleash not the year’s greatest moment but certainly one of its imposingly memorable propositions.
The first three songs on the split come from Panzerbastard, the quartet acclaimed for their impressive Gods, Thugs and Madmen album which came out in 2012 via Patac Records. They open things up with a cover of the GBH track Drugs Party In 526, a track instantly prowling ears and imagination with scorching hooks and a thick throaty bassline. It is a potent lure leading into a brawl of punk rock infused with metallic sinews and incitement. As the raw vocals engagingly court the antagonism fuelling every corner of sound, the band unveils a web of melodic temptation and sonic enterprise which simply lights up ears and appetite. It all adds up for a bracing and anthemic captivation getting the release off to a thrilling and intimidating start.
Workhorse is next and flies from the blocks with sonic turbulence behind voracious rhythms and ferocious riffery. Vocals virtually brawl with the senses from its first breath yet there is a swagger and virulence to the encounter which for not much over a minute drags the passions to their feet with ravenous tenacity. Whereas its predecessor enticed, especially towards its end, with a hostile dance of beats, the second song is an unbridled onslaught and just as irresistible.
The band’s offering is completed by another cover, this time of Motorhead’s Iron Fist. Severely caustic merciless rock ‘n’ roll from the first rub of sound, the track roars with the power and snarl of the song’s creators but is given a contagious punk make-over veined with spicy Panzerbastard invention. The song might not quite rival the original but certainly it gives it a run for its money.
Tenebrae steps up next, the quintet the striking union of hardcore talent including vocalist Mark Civitarese (The Unseen), drummer Rob Falzano (Ramallah, Blood for Blood), and guitarist Craig Silverman (Blood for Blood, Agnostic Front, Ramallah, Slapshot). Completed by Dominic Dibenedetto (guitar/vocals) and Ryan Packer (bass), Tenebrae come to the split fresh from the recent release of their self-titled EP, which is also available on Jailhouse Records. First track Wake Up swiftly fills ears with muscle driven beats and turbulent intensity encased in punk blooded riff aggression and squalling vocals. The track is a gripping blend of punk and metal, the former providing the heart and the latter the hostility. Threatening and openly infectious, the track has ears and appetite hungry, a want fed resourcefully by the heavy metal bred Ways Of The Black next. The track is the reverse of the previous in many ways, classic metal its canvas and punk its colourful chorus and addictive nature, which body and voice cannot resist engaging in.
The band’s final track Norse Tribe is their best, though all leave greed for more rampant. Predatory and savage in equal measure, with bludgeoning rhythms punctuating a scarring riff coloured fury, the track stalks and stomps with bestial intent and vitriolic charm as it brings the whole release to an incendiary and exhilarating close.
Sons Of Belial is a treat and the perfect way to celebrate Record Store Day but also in gaining entry into the intimidating and exhilarating confrontations of both Panzerbastard and Tenebrae.
The Sons Of Belial Split is available from November 28th via Jailhouse Records as a limited to 500 12” vinyl @ http://jailhouserecords3.bandcamp.com/album/sons-of-belial-panzerbastard-tenebrae-split
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