Mon 12th December 2016
A to-the-point thrill, great artwork, new avenues of discovery - common themes in the potential appeal of split 7" releases. Southern Druid Records obviously think along the same lines, this twin beast an enticing pairing of varying, modern takes on the sludge sound.
Georgia's Dead Hand are new to me, but Guaiacol is an eye opening introduction. Grand doom from a darkened room, this is what you'd call progressive sludge, if such a term wasn't so unappealing. There's a tension evident, a scheming as they stalk your movement from the shadows. Think Cavity or Deadbird, suitably heavy with a nuanced hand, I'm glad of the acquaintance and find myself checking out their other releases as soon as their side is complete.
I have however crossed paths with Shroud Eater before, reviewing their Face the Master release last year, a promising if slightly overbearingly Kylesa-honouring enjoyable EP. A simple grim riff forms the core, Conan-esque in mentality, with the vocals bringing a slight variation from the norm, reminding me slightly of Big Business' approach. Staple doom, and not too much more, it wins little in originality, but gets the nod heading and generates a fuzzy and familiar cosiness that'll ensure both sides of the vinyl receive equal attention.
Mission completed - a rounded, attractive mini release exposing further two bands deserving of a wider audience.