Self recorded in an old slaughterhouse on the southside of Chicago. Originally self-released as an edition of 25 in a round aluminum tin with hand stamped inserts. re-released by Land of Decay in an edition of 100 cassettes.
Sun Splitter put out this album a while ago on a super limited CD-R. Obviously it’s long gone, but the finest folks at Land Of Decay did what anyone in their right mind would do when they heard II, decided it needed to see the light of day again.
Just like their Locrian brethren, Sun Splitter are a metal hydra, many different heads all connected to one beast. They play some insanely heavy black doom psych that just fucking SLAYS. This shit is extreme in every way. The blackest, the bleakeast, the sludgiest, the riffiest. SO MANY RIFFS. Monster riffs pounding your bones, pure fucking evil riffs coming straight from the depths of the underworld. Blast beats that only feel at home when they’re destroying mountains. The hounds of hell growling filthy vocals while the song lurches and stumbles. It’s 100% monster, baked in the black sun of Satan’s desert and given the power to demolish everything in its path with aural chaos. Once it gets in a groove and that killer solo sets in, you’re fucking done for.
Everything about II is the fucking BEST. It’s got a blackened doom heart pumping dusty buzzing sun psych. Sun Splitter somehow manage to sway back and forth between a dozen genres & sub-genres in one song, all while keeping it cohesive, singleminded, and brutal as fuck. I don’t think there’s any medium capable of handling the onslaught of devastation they bring, but a limited tape is as good as anything else I suppose. Just make sure if Sun Splitter ever makes it out of Chicago, you make it your #1 priority to have your face melted at one of their shows.
A limited cassette release of an even more limited CD-R, Chicago's Sun Splitter, in the span of around 30 minutes, condense all of what I consider to be the best moments of the past 40 years of metal. With elements of drone, doom, industrial, and even classic rock, it all comes together as a perfectly conceived release.
"Cairn of Old Eyes" opens with taut, rhythmic riffs over a stiff machine beat, but with changing sounds and structures, it has the complexity of prog rock without the unnecessary pretense. Along with this there’s more than a healthy dose of drawn out guitar tones and whispered, mantra like vocals. Closer "Carrion Eater" is cut from the same cloth, opening with similar vocals and a warm guitar tone, but focuses more on the melody, even with the big riffs.
"Northern Blood Tithe" has some of the dual rhythm guitar/drum machine combo sound that has garnered many comparisons to early Godflesh, but there’s just as much Sabbath to be heard. The melodic elements reminded me of mid-period Thin Lizzy, but that’s pretty much my only go-to touchstone for the '70s rock genre. As a whole it's slower, more spacious, with vocals so buried and processed they sound like an additional instrument more than anything else.
It follows the same template as "Earth Burner," in that both are more doomy and repetitious, but in a carefully measured way. The repetition in both serve to build tension, with "Earth Burner" slowly adding changes in to keep the track dynamic, but without interrupting the deliberate drone structure.
With a style that is reminiscent of many, but sounds like none, Sun Splitter has created one of the best metal albums without adhering to any specific conventions. There's melody, there's monolithic guitar riffs, there's dark, bleak ambience, and so much more that comes together so perfectly that I can't help but love this tape.
released June 6, 2010
Anthony A. Dunn - vocals, loops, noise
Francis Hays - guitars, bass, drum programming
Jacob Essak - guitars, bass
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