Arduous Task/ Gravewurm
Spawn of the Sacrilege Split

Wow, my first review for TOTD, and I just happen to pick a split album. Spawn of the Sacrilege? Hmmmm, sounds interesting.

Now, normally I like split albums, especially with HPGD since they usually put out some pretty quality ones, but every once in awhile I’ll get one that just doesn’t work out as possibly intended and am left feeling like more should have gone into it. Such is the case with this split from Arduous Task, who play a kind of Punked up Death Metal that, while lacking some in the originality department, at least shows a band that seem to have fun playing together, and Gravewurm who had a really good split with label mates Spun in Darkness back in 2012, playing their sort of Kvlt Black Metal.

To start off with, Arduous Task (formerly Subhuman Slaughter) get things underway with the decidedly Deicide sounding “Incinerate the Six Headed Star“, I reference Deicide because the song’s tempo and riffing sounds almost exactly like “I Am No One” from the Serpents of the Light album. The other three songs “Damnatio Ad Bestias“, “Hate Raping Warfare” (which just so happens to be the title of their demo), and “Blood Drenched Blades“, remind me of Grand Belial’s Key in some places but mostly I just hear Deicide. Which isn’t all bad, I mean there are worse bands to model a sound after.

For Arduous Task though, this is a demo and it shows. But the raw production actually helps them a little bit, because it shows how much was put into the songs. By not having them overly polished and gleaming, it goes a long way to showing what kind of an ugly beast Death Metal can be. Crunchy guitars, nice rumbling bass and some pretty competent drumming can go a long way, but so can some originality, and I think that’s what they need more than anything.

Gravewurm are a whole other story. They seem to have the Black Metal down to a T, that’s for sure. Their half of the album starts out with the rather confusing mid tempo “Empire of Darkness“, I say confusing because it doesn’t go anywhere, it just meanders about in a mire of Trad Metal that is really kind of stagnant. But the thing with Gravewurm isn’t about blistering speed. Which is why my favorite track from them is “In the Service of Death“. Here, it is Darkthrone that comes out to play, mostly their Total Death era. What this track boils down to is pitch black perfection, and a nice change up after the funeral dirge of “Only Fire Remains“.

The vocals are so processed they don’t sound human which fit’s the music perfectly, and the production has such atmosphere it sounds like it was recorded in a cave. Their half of the split culminates in the ultra catchy  “Lord of the Abyss“. The song is the perfect closer because it sort of walks into the sunset with demonic swagger.

It is ultimately Gravewurm that I liked better out of the two, but I think Arduous Task has good potential. Maybe a name change, I really hate to say it, but the name doesn’t fit the music. Ultimately I feel comfortable recommending them both, and therefore I recommend this split.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
March 21st, 2014


  1. Commented by: Tom

    To my ears Arduous Task sounds nothing like Deicide.
    I get the GBK reference, but they also have elements
    of Iron Maiden, early Mayhem, old Rotting Christ, and some of that
    Immolation-esque dissonance (check the end of
    Damnatio for a prime example). I dunno, I think
    they are pretty unique. Not too many bands I can
    think of sounding like them. It’s not everyday you
    come across a band NOT singing about Satan and
    blatantly ripping off Conqueror. Kind of refreshing
    if you ask me. Not a bad first review though.

  2. Commented by: Appollyonx

    I mainly heard the Deicide sound in that first track. I would like to hear more of them, though. Since I wrote the review I’ve stayed listening to them and they’re growing on me so I would like to hear what they do next.

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