Utflod/Shaving the Werewolf
Split EP

So, a little personal life update that no one asked for – I’ve been in the process of trying to cut coffee out of my daily routine. Let me be clear, this isn’t a battle against caffeine addiction or anything like that – when I was drinking coffee it was usually one cup every morning, never more than two unless I was nursing a serious hangover. I used to drink A LOT of soda, but managed to wrestle that habit away years ago, becoming an annoying and devout Polar seltzer guy in the process (get that La Croix shit OUTTA MY FACE). Mostly, coffee just started making me feel a little shitty after drinking, so trying to drop it seemed like a no-brainer, right?

Welllll I wouldn’t say I’m dependent on it, but I’ll admit that without that little kickstart of caffeine, it does take me a bit longer to shake the rust off in the morning. I’ve tried black tea, which gives a little boost but… it’s still just not quite the drawback-free jolt I’m looking for. Thankfully, the shot of energy I need to shoot out of bed like my friggin’ pillow is on fire just came in a tidy little four song package.

JESUS FUCK. Good fucking morning indeed!

What we’ve got here is a quick little split from a pair of hard-hitting, chaotic, no-punches-pulled hardcore acts from Norway, and let’s not mess about – it’s a fucking hand grenade. Four tracks of visceral destruction that scoff at the very notion of subtlety or restraint, hellbent on coming for you, me, your little dog, whatever the hell happens to find itself in its path. I’ve walked away from a car rollover less phased than I was after feeling the impact delivered by these two maniacs – and I can tell you, it’s just as much an adrenaline rush, without the annoyance of skyrocketing insurance premiums.

Starting the assault is Bergen’s Utflod, led by the positively nuclear vocals of band co-founder Oda (last name unknown). She and the band come bursting through the goddamn wall with “Bror” like a meth-and-Red-Bull-fueled Kool-Aid man desperately crashing through every house searching for their next fix. Imagine Every Time I Die dialed up to “11” and led by the world’s most pissed off Fisher Cat (I mean this in the most loving and complimentary of ways), and you’re starting to scratch the surface of the kind of ferocity on display here. Forget the friggin’ dark roast – just give me this 2-minutes of bricks to the face and I’m running out the door showered, clothed, and ready to tackle the day like I’m Lawrence Taylor on my fifth bump of the quarter.

But here’s the thing – Utflod has a lot to say and very little time to say it, so stand the hell back as they deliver the atom bomb that is “Boa Constrictor,” which just goes straight for the jugular with a fury of blasting drums, furious riffs and a total devastation of screams that genuinely make me dive for cover. It’s a blistering barrage that only lasts a minute and change, but trust me when I tell you IT’S ENOUGH, to the point that when the band goes for their piledriver of a breakdown to finish out the song, it somehow feels like a reprieve. Make no mistake, this is some of the most explosive material I’ve heard in a minute, so if it’s absolute aggression you’re looking for, Utflod have the goods stockpiled and ready to launch.

So even after just two songs, only a few ticks over 4 minutes of material, I could use a break, man! I’m nearing 40. I’m out of shape. I don’t need this abuse! Do you think Oslo’s Shaving the Wearwolf could take it easy on this weak, frail body? No. What they deliver instead, is some screaming. Like, a dude just losing his shit for 15 seconds of raw, naked screaming. It’s terrifying. If you don’t know, Shaving the Werewolf delivers the kind of unhinged chaos you got from the likes of Ed GeinCurl Up And Die, and early The Red Chord, the kind that makes you seriously wonder “good god what are these dudes on?” But I’ll tell ya what, if you want a fuckin’ doozy of an early 00’s-inspired metalcore breakdown, “Eat Shit or Die Trying” most certainly has what you’re looking for. I FEEL YOUNG AGAIN.

Comparatively speaking, I guess you could say “Pyromantic Pleasures” seems… somewhat tame? At least until the massive breakdown the breaks out about a minute and a half in. It brings a real goddamn ruckus for a quick minute, a real pit-mover layered with vocalist Ottar Skift continued assault on his own vocal chords, causing me emotional stress in the process. By this point my brain is fried and wants desperately for some soothing whale or rainforest sounds or some shit. Maybe some Enya. Someone light me some incense and chant some healing incantations my way.

Uhhhhh look, this split rules. I know I made it seem painful, but I promise it was only in the very best kind of way. These two bands are absolute maniacs and I may just never sleep again, so caffeine problem solved, I guess! Hop on this little rage bus with me and lets get weird.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
April 14th, 2023

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