Throughout the years, split EPs between two or more bands have always been one of the greatest nuances of the entire metal scene. It’s always been an inexpensive (and just downright cool) way to sample a few bands that one might not ordinarily spend hard-earned money on. There is nothing worse than dropping some coin on an album of a band you’ve never heard of, only to get home and find out it’s a stinking piece of trash. With splits, they’re usually always just a few bucks and you get samples of what the various bands are about. It’s a win-win for all involved.

Luckily for us, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions is keen to this notion and once again delivered another solid chunk of quality metal in the form of a split between San Francisco’s Apocryphon and Lafayette, California’s Fabricant. Both are young death metal bands but the similarities end there. On the Apocryphon end, the band is a somewhat thrashy death metal band with a vicious, incendiary approach. Their lone song on the split is a long-winded whirlwind with various tempo changes. The quintet have clearly taken their time in crafting this song as it incorporates a myriad of metal elements: raging death, catchy thrash, blistering black, and a few melodies thrown in for good measure. Another benefit of the tune is the terrific final mix of grimy, nasty metal with enough polish to make virtually everything audible.

With the song that kicks off the split, Apocryphon instantly go for the jugular with “Cydonian Enigmas – Berzerker”. Sporting a style reminiscent of the largely unknown Antietam 1862, Apocryphon’s is like a fleet of fighter jets carpet-bombing the hell out of their target. Sometimes slow, sometimes rapid, but always undeniably vicious, they don’t hesitate to rip the listener’s heart out over and over, provided he had multiple hearts. The song is a precursor to what can hopefully be expected when they get around to releasing their full-length debut.

On the other side of the wall is Fabricant, a hideous, festering corpse that plays a style of rotten death metal in the vein of Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness-era Carcass. Dueling vocals, guttural guitar tones, savage and catchy riffs and scattered blast beats are par the course with the three songs Fabricant has added to the split. While not as long as their counterpart’s single entry, the three tunes from Fabricant are fine examples of a young band serving the Carcass-worshipping legion well.

Fabricant is more technical (quite a few arpeggios here) than early Carcass and some of their sound is more like vintage Brutal Truth, what with the hollow, slightly echoing snare drums and all. Though they won’t be winning any originality awards anytime soon, they certainly wear their influences proudly and boldly on their sleeves. It’s doubtful that the guys in Fabricant are trying to kick start an entire new subgenre of metal with “Impotent Creed”, “Terror Gland” and “Craving”, but that doesn’t matter. They have served up a nasty little platter of splattered brain matter for all to enjoy.

In the end, the split between these two young bands is a worthy listen and one that should be scooped up. Both bands demonstrate an entirely different take on death metal and both do a marvelous job in doing so. Aprocryphon is a much more streamlined band with a more epic/grandiose feel at times, while Fabricant is the perfect band to jam out and let the severed limbs fly. Hopefully neither takes too long in delivering their debut LPs.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
May 17th, 2013


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