Genre: Black/Death Metal | Label: Vault of Dried Bones
Location: Toronto, ON| Listen: Bandcamp
From the bowels of Toronto comes “Warpit of Coiling Atrocities,” a split between two of the darkest black/death metal bands the mecca of Canada has to offer. For Adversarial, this was the second of two splits between albums, and it feels like it’s been lost between the incredible “Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries” split and their sophomore full length. In Paroxsihzem’s case, they started to show huge strides of improvement compared to their self titled full length. Both bands showcase some great material here that seems to have gone under appreciated.
Adversarial’s side opens up the split, and they start their contribution with an intro track, which contains some lofi sounding guitar and drums, as if they were off in the distance, with wolf howls and dark ambience at the end. It’s honestly my least favourite part of the split due to its length, as it would be far more effective if much shorter. Thankfully, the first actual song, “Warwolf” does not disappoint. Adversarial, as they have in the past, utilize dissonant chords, and either trem them in a progression, or find some meaningful patterns from the notes within. It creates a pretty chaotic and unsettling atmosphere, further punctuated with the relentless blastbeats and stellar lead guitar work. “Cursed Blades Cast Upon the Slavescum of Christ” (an amazing title, I may add) is where Adversarial really shines though, as throw in more Incantation style riffs against double kick beats, and develop a much more involved song. They also included a cover of Morbid Angel’s “Vengeance is Mine,” and like their previous cover song recordings, they crush it.
Previous to their material on this split, Paroxsihzem had a lone full length (with a couple demos) under their belt. The material here continues the direction set out on the album, creating some very dark black/death metal. Their three songs here contain more black metal influence than the Adversarial size, but there’s plenty of finger twisting riffs among the more hypnotic paced parts that certainly make it a worthwhile side to listen to. There’s still usage of samples over black metal style chord progressions like on the debut, but where they improve is in their focus on more involved death metal tremolo riffs. It’s still really murky, especially when they throw the reverb on the snare in “Tormented Attrition,” but murky works for Paroxsihzem. I don’t think they would achieve this kind of atmosphere otherwise, and it’s like a heavy, dense fog. There’s some great spiraling guitar work in the closing track “Ypsilanti’s Christs” that is absolutely morbid, and like the other side of the split, has a huge Incantation influence to it.
Everyone’s going to compare this to the Adversarial/Antediluvian split, and truth be told, Adversarial’s material on this split isn’t quite as good, but it’s almost unfair to compare the two. On the other hand, I feel like Paroxsihzem is more complementary in terms of sound to Adversarial, and it gives this split a little more cohesiveness. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either split if you love cavernous, dissonant, and hyper-blasting death metal. Adversarial’s discography has been flawless thus far, while Paroxsihzem put out an mLP after this which stands as their best material yet. Both of these Toronto acts have been silent for a while, and more material by either will be met with much hype.