Splits are odd to me and that is all I will say about that subject. Starting off the CD are 3 songs which appear to be some kind of metaphysical themed tracks from NYIA, the first of these two Polish extreme Metal outfits. Thereís no mistaking the vocally dextrous range that pulls you in with its flavour akin to what you might find on an ATHEIST album or maybe to some extent CYNIC. This is discordant Metal pushed and pulled; not a cohesive extremity one may expect from a run of the mill Death or Grind act. While the cohesion isnít apparent, it isnít that it isnít there if that doesnít sound too paradoxical (it does Ė Ed.) What I mean of course is that NYIAís forte is to expand what one thinks the structure of a Metal song should be much in the same way DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN do. They make the music far more malleable with odd time signatures and strange chord progressions. They do have a fair bit of brawn to them also, with vocalist Jakub Leonowicz moving every so often from his clean yet demanding croon to a throaty wail.
In many places NYIA are described as Jazz Metal or just ďJazzyĒ styled Grind/Death. I canít go that far as it may give the impression that there will be passages in their music that contain actual Jazz music. They donít. The Jazz is in the seemingly experimental, skit-skat nature of their compositions; as if they were jamming a la COLTRANE or DAVIS after a heroin binge. I doubt thatís what happens but the outcome of wandering but engaging Metal is pretty damn impressive and Iím looking forward to hearing a full length release by these guys.
Slightly more to the point and in-your-face Grind, ANTIGAMA still are bands that deal primarily in kicking the shit out of you. Hereís a band that proves technicality can fracture your nut just as well as heaviness can. Their first track proves this well, with an opening which has a strong underpinning of power, yet what is really driving the song is a barrage of dissonant chords and notes that like many other bands playing in a similar realm of music use often. This would seem jarring and can at first and may often be a deterrent to some listeners, but I find it to be an engaging endeavour that keeps you aware of the music constantly; your waiting on the next twist and turn, never knowing what comes next. Vocally you get a pretty throaty, but higher registered growl than most Grind or Death. It doesnít therefore direct you into the vocal arena that would, again, make you feel you were in well chartered territory, but out in the wild open. There are some obscure moments where the bands plays around with feedback and sound effects and for once it didnít bother me.
I could get into and used to this experimental Grind if itís done right. ANTIGAMA and NYIA seem to do it right.
(Online February 29, 2008)