Ives / Amort - _Split_
(Boue Records, 2010)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (7.5 and 6 out of 10)
Do you know what I have been missing this holiday season? Blackened sludge punk. Boue Records, from somewhere in Europe, specializes in sludge doom punk with first wave black metal sympathies. In Boue's world, Burzum, Buzzov*en and Black Flag would all eat dinner from the same table. Boue's newest release is the split from American bands Ives and Amort. If you were ever unsure of this split's intentions, in terms of style, then let the cover photograph of a sickly nude woman forcing a suggestive smile speak for itself. The slight nausea and harrowing sadness which comes from viewing this album art is the perfect place to start for the complete collapse of morality, hope and order.

The Ives side is a re-release of their demo _Burial of the Modernized Soulless_. Blackened crust punk is not as far fetched as others would lead you to believe. The first wave of black metal shares, in many respects, allegiances to hardcore punk with '80s crust punk acting as a translator. Ives hits every note perfectly with its lo-fi guitar creating atmosphere in the same way nerve gas fills an enclosed room. The guitar tone is similar to Nocturno Culto's work on Darkthrone's _A Blaze in the Northern Sky_, and once the mood is adequately established, the vocals are exuded forth with the ferocity of hornets from the mouth of hellbeasts. Ives accomplishes what some black metal bands try to do with a ten minute song in under two. Before you are aware the song is over, your stomach is bleeding profusely. "Sweet Fields of Ecstasy" is perhaps the most realized song, with its combination of looming riffs, castle shrieking and early Discharge intensity. While Ives' side only thirteen minutes long, it is a sneering blackened experience which is unrelenting, cruel and completely badass.

To counteract the blackened carpet bombing of the first side, Amort chooses to make itself known by a one track, fourteen minute funeral doom opus. The song "Bed of Decay" dredges up memories of the album art, something I'm sure everyone is trying to forget. The first five minutes of the song show a decision to create atmosphere with dissonant strings and echoed chanting. The vocals make an appearances as the distant cry of a strangulation victim. This, combined with a harsh piano melody, makes the meat of the song as haunting as it is beautiful. "Bed of Decay" makes its point in disturbing bullet points before regressing to more atmospheric meandering. It is not pleasing, rather intriguing to other releases not associated with traumatizing album art. Amort comes in second on this split only due to the handicap associated with their song lengths. Funeral doom surprisingly works better in album format, as the listener can experience the many dimensions of slow suffocation.

This is an odd split. The difference between Ives and Amort is such that it may lead some to dismissing either half. However, their intentions are very clear. Both bands have been put on this earth to do one thing: destroy the very souls of all who choose to listen and gaze upon confined women in the midst of starvation. Sweet Lord.

Contact: http://bouerecords.yolasite.com/

(article published 29/12/2010)


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