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Tormenting Holy Flesh / Ola De Violencia

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Spilling Holy Blood (Part I)
2. Spilling Holy Blood (Part II)
3. Final Hour Of Christ
4. Weeping In Heaven / I Arose

Review by Carl on April 29, 2024.

This last year, I have seen both these bands perform live, so what better excuse to bang out a review for this classic underground split release from an age long gone? US black metal perverts go head-to-head with Colombian death metal, so let's get this clash of the old school on the road!

On the A side we get the legendary Profanatica brutally shoved in our ear holes, and it feels gooooood! Their brand of black metal is free of any Scandinavian influences, as it is more rooted in the sounds of the earliest progenitors of death and black metal, like Hellhammer, Possessed and Death. That being said, I must state that Profanatica does have a sound totally their own, immediately recognizable. A growling rasp barfs out more profanity than a Tourette sufferer on meth, while the simple riffs are being grinded out as if the guitarists are trying to saw their instrument in half with a pick, underpinned by a percussive beating executed by a demonic pneumatic machine. The tracks alternate between battering uptempo savagery and slowly crushing sections, oozing idiotic amounts of black bile, malicious madness and demented derangement. In the closing track we get some keyboard ambience on top of this acidic aural torture, emanating dread everywhere. Drenched in a filthy and unpolished production, this is US black metal at its best!

The B side lets loose Masacre, and after the sonic slaughter of Profanatica, they have a difficult task ahead, but rest assured: they deliver the goods as well! The band plays a style of death metal that relies more on intricate riffing, tempo changes and guitar leads, while creating varied tracks that simply ooze aggression and horror. Although technically more proficient than Profanatica, Masacre also unchains a brutal dose of old school extreme metal, emanating just as much vile underground vapors. There's definitely a South American feel present in the faster parts that bring to mind acts like Sarcofago and Expulser, something that's also felt in the gruff growling vocals. This frenetic touch is combined with more US death metal inspired sections in the style of Sadistic Intent or early Immolation, and this interaction works very well within the framework of the band's sound. The whole has been given a suitable authentic production, making this side of the split give off the same underground spirit as the Profanatica side, even though both acts are pretty removed from each other soundwise. The closing two live tracks sound thin and kinda unbalanced, but make that up by having atmosphere coming out of the wazoo.

This is a rotten blast of pure early 90's underground extremity, heaving with obscure atmosphere throughout. This is one of those gems from long ago that nobody is allowed to miss.

Rating: 9 out of 10