Leave it to Caligari Records to make waves with their first foray into full-on death metal by unearthing not one but two of the gnarliest demos out there and cramming them both onto one cassette. The label has already proven with just a few releases under its belt that it has a knack for digging up killer black metal, but this nasty little bastard of a tape proves they’re no one trick pony. In one corner, we have French horde Skelethal and in the other Swedish psychos Inisans; it’s an old school DM battle royal that sees them serving up four tracks each of blood, guts and buzzsaw riffs.
Both bands specialize in creating dark, bulldozing death metal that recalls the Swedish elder gods; Skelethal has the slight edge in the debilitating riff department, while Inisans excels in creating an ugly, putrid atmosphere. Their styles are similar enough that they compliment each other perfectly, yet distinctive enough that you know you’re listening to a different band when you flip the tape over. As I alluded to in the first paragraph, I tend to view split releases as a fight or competition between the bands involved, but both Skelethal and Inisans bring such strong, savage material to the table that it’s next to impossible to declare a victor.
What strikes me about these recordings is the exuberance with which both bands attack these tunes. I get visions of long-haired kids in the middle of nowhere being genuinely excited to discover death metal, saving up to buy instruments and then getting together to go apeshit in a dingy basement as the likes of “Morbid Ovation” and “Putrid Death” come rumbling out of my speakers and it gives me hope. Obviously, I have no idea how old the members of either band are, but there is a youthful energy at work throughout these thirty-four minutes that’s as infectious as it is pummeling.
With this demo compilation, Caligari Records continues it’s path of destruction, dragging two excellent bands to keep and eye on out of the underground death metal muck in the process. I could easily see Skelethal or Inisans landing on a bigger label like Dark Descent or Deathgasm for a full length release, but the way major players like Century Media and Metal Blade have been snapping up OSDM bands of late, you never know what might happen. Beware.