Keeper / Sea Bastard – “Split” (Medusa Crush Recordings)
Miserable doom / sludge from two of the most oppressive propagators of this grim style either side of the planet! Keeper hail from California but there is anything but sunshine on their 14 minute plus ‘777’ – more like dark clouds, black seas and a cold, bone chilling wind threatening to blow you off a cliff (or make you jump – Ed)! Droning depressive riffs and cold clanging melodies form the backdrop of Keeper’s doom noise as Jacob Lee’s banshee shrieks shatter your sanity while Penny Keats’s plod primeval drumming simultaneously hammers your ear drums into implosion. Even less enticing than a storm force cross Channel ferry crossing come England’s aptly named Sea Bastard with their 20 minute plus ‘Astral Rebirth’. With heavy drone noise spewing forth Monty’s guttural vocals like some fearsome mutant beast crawling its way out of the blackness, the sheer despair (made all the worse of course thanks to Oli’s dirty oil slick guitar) of this primitive track is utterly mind numbing, causing the brain to switch off and actually trip off as if in some kind of tribal trance (or self induced coma – Ed). Anyone into Iron Monkey, Grief or similarly fierce bands will be self harming themselves to orgasm for this one.