Recalling the times when split albums featuring two artists were much more prevalent than now, Danish metal bands As We Fight and The Psyke Project join up to release “Ebola”. The album will be released as an extremely limited vinyl version containing 11 songs and as a digital download via Lifeforce Records containing 9 tracks.
As We Fight and The Psyke Project are prominent on the Scandinavian metal scene and with both celebrating their ten year anniversary. The idea to join forces to mark this milestone in a way that also looked back to the bands personal history of listening to split albums, seemed a natural and great idea.
The bands remarked over the release that:
“We grew up listening to rare split albums by our favourite metal artists such as Zao/Training For Utopia, Heaven Shall Burn/Caliban, Converge/Hellchild and so on. Albums that were very hard to find in stores and nowadays are collector’s rarities. Today the split album between fellow bands is pretty much dead. Therefore the “EBOLA” split is a huge personal joy and our tribute to the old school hc split albums.”
As We Fight offer up slices of metalcore might to open the album. ‘Shattered’ rides on good driving riffs from the guitars of Martin and Gun, backed by Soren and his bass, combining to give it an intense rhythmic energy that erupts uncontrollably. The extra guitar riffs nicely enhance the track though maybe not with the prominence they deserve, as they seem held in the background in the production but nevertheless overall the song is a strong rampaging slice of hard core power.
‘Bitter End’, the best of the four tracks, also rides on a killer riff that carries the track perfectly whilst Niller’s drums are commanding and direct. With some neat time changes and directional twists the song slams home with aggression and satisfying skill; the unrelenting riff ripping through the song lingers in the head long after the track ends. The vocals of Laurits are defiant and furious, a blast of attitude that compliments the sounds perfectly. Though not always instantly noticeable the songs from As We Fight have a varied and creative construction underneath the noise and angry attack and other tracks like ‘Save Me’ and ‘Black Heart’, although they are not quite up to the level of the afore mentioned two but are solid proof of the bands ability.
The second half of the “Ebola” sees The Psyke Project bring their crushing sounds forth and though treading a similar territory to their album mates they have a darker more death metal type approach.
Vocalist Martin Nielskov growls with a lower and deep intensity over challenging sounds that rumble and burst forth like a pissed off stripped down Meshuggah. Opening track ‘We Came From Earth’, is a devastating charge of energy which as the track progresses gets more abstract and satisfying, the guitars of Christian Bonnesen and Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt attack with a strident effect.
‘Battles’ and ‘This Road Is Hell’ bring in more instantaneous riffs than on their opener, as the bass of Jeppe Skouv joins the drums of Rasmus Gajhede Sejersen in creating the punishing spine upon which the guitars and vocals can expand and corrupt. The first of the two tracks is the best on the whole album and the most accessible of The Psyke Project’s contribution and also the least exploratory. If exploration within a track is what is desired, than ‘A 1000 Frozen Bodies’ is the album’s gem with its meandering but scorching sounds and ideas.
“Ebola” is a great idea, supported by equally strong and powerful music from two leading lights in the metalcore genre. If this was a ‘versus’ type arrangement then the honours are basically even and each band’s distinct traits give the release a consistency from the clearer riff angry thrills of As We Fight, to the dark menacing raw power of The Psyke Project.