Let me start off by saying that these two bands are two of my absolute favourites at the moment, so when I got this CD I had extremely high expectations. Placing high expectations on a record can be a very dangerous thing, which I found out the hard way with BLOODBATH’s “Nightmares Made Flesh”- a good album by any measure, but didn’t quite live up to what I was hoping it would be. After my first listen I was slightly disappointed by what I heard on this split, especially with BITGOTA. The material on this split is vastly different to their quirky and psychotic debut EP, which in case you either haven’t heard or read my review on was a mix of insane blasting Grindcore that delved continually into breakdowns and small melodic sections, which they then ripped out of your hands just as you began to enjoy them and went right back to full speed blasting, with almost no pattern or cohesion to be found. The material on this split is vastly more mature and focused then on “Simian Hybrid Prototype”. The insanely fast blasting is still there and the occasional breakdown is still thrown into the mix, but the song writing focus of the band has shifted. The songs have taken on a very noticeable Death Metal feel, due to the vocals, which have shifted from the high-pitched shrieks to a low Death growl. As far as the music is concerned the riffing isn’t quite as chaotic as it was on “Simian Hybrid Prototype”, with a much more straightforward feel to it.
I mentioned that at first I was disappointed with the change in sound, but after a few more listens I have come to appreciate it for what it is- a logical progression. The band needed to evolve and they have done so in quite an impressive fashion. I still miss the high-pitched screams, but the growled vocals aren’t all bad. Well I’ve waffled on enough about BITGOTA, so I’ll move onto the DESPISED ICON side.
If you aren’t familiar with DESPISED ICON’s unique brand of ass-kickery then you should be ashamed of yourself. Basically they play a brand of Grind infused Deathcore somewhat similar to THE RED CHORD but without as much technical flair. Basically this Split is a continuation of their earlier material, with possibly a slightly heavier influence on the Hardcore in their sound as opposed to the Grindcore. One thing that is immensely pleasing here is the fact they have almost completely ditched those goddamn annoying pig screech vocals that marred their previous material. Yay. If I had to choose one grievance I have with this split as a whole it would probably be the fact that the DESPISED ICON songs go for to long to hold my attention. I realise most of them clock in at around , but I have a very short attention span for songs that use verse/chorus/breakdown structures.
This is a damn good split from two very good bands, I would recommend buying it but you would only be paying for 2 new tracks, seeing as BITGOTA made their side of the Split available for download. But hey, it’s more fun owning the actual CD than the mp3’s, so go buy it anyway. Or else. (Online March 7, 2006)