Having both been in the spotlight in the past year due to their unique, fantastic works, bringing both Ecferus and Palace of Worms together is, in theory, a modern black metal dream. Luckily for us, the listeners, both bands prove said theory in practice, ushering in the new year with some of their most unusual, powerful material to date.
Palace of Worms open this split on a vicious note. Following the adventurous, challenging, untamed The Ladder, sole member Balan chooses to, again, eschew the notion of expectation in favor of expanding his musical horizons. Taking direction from the bludgeoning, low-end riffing of the classic Swedish death metal sound pioneered by Entombed and Dismember, these three new songs flex an unexpected brawn previously unattributed to Palace of Worms’s sound. Though rife with doomed chunk, d-beats, and slack-tuned muscle, this trio of songs still falls within Palace of Worms’s kaleidoscopic vision.
Fellow prolific solo artist Alp of Ecferus closes this split with his special brand of technically-minded, atmospheric black metal chaos. Finding a balanced medium between the lyrical expanse of his early works on the Prehistory album with the more academic discord of his recent split with Jute Gyte, Ecferus’s brackish vitriol answers Palace of Worms’s filth from the opposite end of the extreme metal spectrum. Oft-times resembling the vicious, post-Romantic grandeur of Emperor’s Wrath of the Tyrant, Ecferus’s shifting, blanket approach to black metal continues to wow.