On this split from Jems Label we have two hard working and top tier Black Metal bands, both having very different styles opposed to the other. Witchbones, being the band on the first side of the split, is one of many projects by the prolific Vardlokker. Some of his groups are as follows: Conduit of Chaos, Devouring Serpent, Kaltesblut, Nexwomb, Omnikinetic, and Oregon Black Metal super group Sangre De Luna. The genres of these groups range from War/Bestial Metal to several types of Black Metal, and so much in between.
I find Witchbones to be a really unique blend of War Metal and Blackened-Death Metal. There are endless worship bands of Blasphemy, this is not one of those rip offs. Witchbones delivers a more technical and musically proficient sound for a War Metal group. On this split I absolutely love the melding of really brutal and raw Bestial riffs, with actual melodies you can pick out and enjoy. The first track on the Witchbones side is a synth intro titled, “The Other Side of the Broken Mirror”. I always enjoy when Black Metal releases include ambient intros, outros, or interludes. “Oblivion Eternal” is a punishing but beautiful track. It carries a unique style that any fan of War/Bestial, Black, or Death Metal will definitely love.
The other side of the split contains the track “Altar” by Vide. Vide is a fantastically dark and atmospheric Black Metal solo project done by the inscrutable mystery man, Nobody. Hailing from the Southern States, Nobody has several side projects, much like Witchbones. Empty, is the name of a post-punk project of his and the other main side project would be the Death Metal offerings from Some Dead Bodies. The track “Altar” is a mid-tempo track just dripping with atmosphere. Vide always provides extremely deep, dark, and very unique Black metal. The production is what really satisfies me for this one. Without sacrificing the rawness and brutality we all love about Black Metal, “Altar” transmits a slower and more ambient feel. The track evokes the essence and notions of pain, solitude, and sorrow. It is special to have a Black Metal project to bring out emotion in this way, a lost art in Black Metal today. Vide’s style reminds me a lot of early Burzum, which is a sound that is not carried forward too much these days. (Fetid Priest of Pestilence)