Sessoviolento / Sorg – Split

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Label: Yamabushi Recordings

This is a bit of a bittersweet release. It’s not that one band on this split whilst the other is awful, as sometimes happens with splits. Nor does one band overshadow the other. Rather, it’s bittersweet because whilst both Sessoviolento and Sorg offer up excellent sides, it marks Sorg’s last release, as the band split up just over a week ago. A real shame, as the mix of black, drone, grind, and doom they offer is absolutely awesome; whilst Sessoviolento continue to be one of the best blackened crust/punk bands in the underground, with the four tracks they offer being hard, dirty, and a bit nasty, much like what their name translates to.

Sessoviolento start the split, sounding across as more violent and desperate than they have on previous releases. There’s a delightful rawness to the production, with the vocals being particularly overblown, and it all feels a bit more punk than they have done before. It’s all quite anxious and tense, with the feedback, driving guitars, and urgent vocals of “Sterile Visions” telling their own tale. “Crude Life” is as much a mission statement as anything else, reveling in the disgust it will surely conjure in some, whilst “Detested” almost collapses under the weight of its more mid-tempo stomp. By the time side closer “Inside” rolls around, it should be obvious that there’s nothing healthy or happy on offer here – which is exactly how music like this should be.

Sorg’s side is even more violent and raw, though without quite the same sense of depravity and loose morals that Sessoviolento project. The production is demo quality, coming across as if recorded live in someone’s garage on to a tape player in the corner (for the avoidance of doubt, this is a good thing). Feedback and static hisses permeate the tracks, creating a sense of a ceaseless onslaught, with their three untitled tracks flowing in to one another. There’s a nice looseness to it all that makes the music as energizing as it is off-putting, though when the band slow to a crawl it is utterly crushing, hammering in to the listener with malevolence and real force; and I absolutely love the bass drones. As far as ways to bow out go, this is pretty damn good.

It’s worth pointing out that both bands, whilst having plenty in common, also have enough differences that the split feels both varied and consistent. Both Sessoviolento and Sorg make their own identities and sounds clear, not sounding alike, but also sounding as if they belong together. There’s a sense of a common outlook and approach to music more than a shared genre, and it’s that which makes the split make sense. But more than that, it’s also that both bands offer up raw, violent underground music that is really fucking good.

Split can be downloaded and streamed via Bandcamp. The cassette version, including a printed Sessoviolento patch, is available from Yamabushi Recordings, but almost sold out at the time of writing.

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