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Dead Shall Not Have Died In Vain / Awkwa - Split [Oxidation - 2022]

Here’s a CDR split that focuses on the more ambiently brooding/ slowing building side of the noise genre. Both parties offering up an around eighteen to nineteen-minute track a piece, with each having their own sound- but working well together as a rewarding/ worthy split.

This release originally appeared back in 2017 on UK’s HNM- this recet(ish) pro-pressed CDR appears on Illinois-based Oxidation. Cover artwork wise we have an old painting of a scythe carrying reptilic humanoid figure sitting on the back of a tailed creature, slashing at people in an ancient street. Drop by here to get hold of a copy for yourself. 

We open with the Dead Shall Have Died In Vain track “Non Existence”. This Jacksonville, Illinois has been active since 2001, putting out around twenty or so releases- which takes in stand-alones, splits, and shorts. Their track here comes in at the 19.13 mark- and is best described as low-key noise meets brooding ambient. We open in a fairly grim fashion as we have a waving dark drone hover- topped with a layer of lower volume noise tone shredding, and bayed almost blacked metal vocals. As we move on the low-end creepy hoover carries on, as the other elements fade- but as we move on we get the following toppings- gas like hissers, scraping hazes, distant eerier aquatic rumbles, and gloomily post-industrial reverberations. The whole thing creates a good feeling of ebbing ‘n’ drifting unease.

The second track is from Awkward Geisha, and is entitled “Acid Bath”. This is one of the projects of Wales-based noisemaker/ artists Ade Cowzone- it ran between 2016 and 2019-clocking up around fifty releases. The track here comes in at the 18.12 mark. It opens with a circling, then receding electro bass drone- to begin with, we have just a series of dialogue samples from those who have taken LSD. As the track progresses the bass drone becomes more rapid in its circling- also around the mid-way point a slow cluttering wash of static is added, as well as high-pitched sweeps and a few more subtly building noise elements. This track is very much a headphone affair- so the circling of the drone is really felt, you can clearly hear the dialogue samples, and enjoy the building detail.

In conclusion, this is certainly a worthwhile/ effective split, which was most worthy of a reissue, so well done to Oxidation for making it available once again.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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