Wed 17th August 2005
This promises to be something special. Two of London's hardest working, and more importantly, best underground bands releasing a split 12" of pure doom. The fantastic Viking warrior style sleevework just adds to the anticipation of what is to come before you've even had a chance to put it on.
Among the Missing, predominantly a cacophony of hardcore punk and sludge, have had to change their styles slightly to fit with the doom theme of the release, but the transition is seamless. Their track, 'Horses for Corpses', clocks in at over sixteen minutes, yet doesn't drag or dwell just for the sake of length. The emphasis, as you'd hope, is on heavy and slow, with several riffs thrown in that ensure the vice-like grip on your attention is not lost.
Blood Island Raiders submit the eleven-minute 'Night of the Frost' for the entertainment. It's a superb mini-epic with an amazing flow, and the strong, fantastic vocals provided by Warren prove that this type of music does not have to be accompanied by screams and shrieks. As a whole, the track perfectly demonstrates why Blood Island Raiders are one of the true leading lights in the country for their type.
It is evident that both bands appear to have matured well, as anyone who has seen them live recently can testify, they have grown more confident and assured in their sound since their respective demo debuts. What's great about this release is that both bands have created a genuinely intriguing feel to the whole package, and you don't get the feeling that it has just been thrown together for some mutual appreciation purpose. As such, 'Blessed Are the Dead' must come close to being an essential purchase for any UK doom fan.