Genre: Grindcore/Death Metal | Label: Willowtip Records
Location: Baltimore, Maryland/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Listen: Bandcamp
Here we have a split between Baltimore’s Misery Index and Pittsburgh’s Commit Suicide. This is the second Misery Index release, and sees them adding a 2nd guitarist in Sparky Voyles (who also played in Dying Fetus with other MI members), meanwhile Commit Suicide had just released their debut album the same year of this split. Both bands fall in the realm of death metal, but one would kind of fade away to obscurity where the other continues to release music to this day. This split is now 20 years old and came out during the early days of both bands, and is still worth a listen.
As mentioned, Misery Index expanded to a quartet for this release after their debut EP came out the year prior. Out of the three songs here, two are originals and the other is a cover. The two originals are both short and fast grinders, having a little more punk influence shining through with some of it’s rhythmic approach and to the point structure. There’s still some intricate phrasing in their guitar riffs, as with the first few riffs in “My Untold Apocalypse.” Blast beats barrage away and give away to groovier double kick patterns. “Alive” features some simpler punk riffs in its verses as Jason Netherton barks away his grievances of slaving one’s life away. The Misery Index tracks finish up with a cover by the great d-beat/grind band Disrupt, and like with many early Misery Index releases, this cover turned me onto Disrupt. They absolutely kill this song and it fits really nice alongside their two originals.
Commit Suicide’s side of the split also contains two original tracks and a cover. They play a style that has a little more in common with brutal death metal, as they have chunky, palm muted power chords that plod atop blastbeats. In fact, “In All this Revelation” features a couple different blast beats the way through, and we’re not met with a single break between blasts until a third of the way through the next track. Once “With Not Distaste” comes back from its slow break, it features some quasi-quirky grooves typical of early 2000’s brutal death metal, before taking off into more blastbeats and chromatic tremolo riffs. It’s not the worst thing on earth, but I can’t say I’ve really ever been interested in busting out any of this band’s material for a long time. Their Death cover is at least pretty bad ass, and is an easy incentive to just listen through their two tracks just to get to the cover.
This split is an enjoyable listen, and I’ll probably always enjoy the Misery Index tracks. The Commit Suicide side (which rolls off the tongue awkwardly) is a decent affair of early 2000’s brutal death metal, and both bands do some really fantastic covers of seminal bands in their respective influences. The production on both sides reeks of the early 2000’s with its drum sound especially, but that’s to be expected, and it’s honestly not the worst example of it. Misery Index has had quite the career since this split, where as Commit Suicide terminated themselves at some point after releasing their sophomore album a couple years later. As mentioned in the “Overthrow” EP review for Misery Index, these non album tracks from their early years have been compiled on a CD by the band’s own label, and that’s certainly worth checking out.