Wet Nurse/Ten Thousand Miles of Arteries - Split [Malignant Records - 2017]Dense, distorted, heavy electronics are the linking factor for the split between Canada's Wet Nurse and Idaho's Ten Thousand Miles of Arteries. Whether slowly ambulating, heavy industrial or bleak, dark, and vicious atmospheres, both acts put forth grim, electronic offerings on this release from Malignant Records. While both bands approach this goal differently, their pairing on this split matches their styles together well.
Wet Nurse's stuttering, opening salvo moves forward with a gruff, industrial roboticness like a slow swarm formulating its invasion. "Vow of Sickness (A Prayer)" uses rough, fluttering loops and distorted, flanged vocals to get it's brash message across. Showing a different side to the attack, "The Exterminating Angel" puts the noise on the back burner and focuses more on the rhythmic drumming and synth lines. With the industrial noises building in the background as support, the army is given new life, and once again moves forward to attack. "Sudden Blood in a Wounded Throat" runs through its paces much like "Vow of Sickness (A Prayer)." Like a steamroller with a chainsaws attached, "Sudden" rolls forth like a slow, crushing, industrial juggernaut. This platform serves as a nice point for shrills of background noise to shoot forth and add some extra texture to this beast.
Operating further back in a more atmospheric zone, Ten Thousand Miles of Arteries' slow, distant, wall of darkness on "When Wolves Gather" plays host to a clean vocal sample and distinct bell. Standing in stark contrast to the obscured grimness in the distance, this juxtaposition is a nice opener, and a hint at the mix to come. "Stronghold" brings this grimness to the fore, after teasing with a nice guitar intro. Delayed, reverb laden vocals working among dizzying, distorted synths evoke a torturous, "no escape" type of vibe. The guitars come forward to the rescue, and the light bookends nicely wrap the darkness. There is no salvation, though, in "Orthodoxy." Rough and ripping throughout, the obscured arrangements feel like a blasted out Skullflower session. Echoing "Wolves," the closing "Hush" places another vocal sample over thoroughly intermingled, distant darkness. This encapsulates their side of the split very well, while still complementing Wet Nurse's dark electronics.
A well paired split, Malignant's offering of Wet Nurse and Ten Thousand Miles of Arteries is short, but solid. Crushing when it needs to be, this split doesn't spend its time heading toward unnecessary ends. Some light can exist within dark, and rhythm can exist in noise. Paul Casey