Noothgrush / Corrupted - Split,
This three-track album was originally released in 1997, and features two songs by Noothgrush (twenty minutes in total) and one song by Corrupted (fifteen minutes). The album has long been out of print, and it has now been remastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Vastum, Acephalix, Nightfell) and bears new artwork by Hal Rotter of Rotting Graphics (Atriarch, Vehemence, Vallenfyre). According to the label this is one of the earliest and most important split albums to come out of the sludge scene, a comment on which I find myself considerably under-qualified to respond to. Sludge is a bastard nihilistic offshoot of doom, and in some ways, has connections with raw black metal, as it attempts to bring to bear the same feelings of fear and hate. The only thing here is that for me it doesn’t really work.
Of the two bands, Noothgrush are the more interesting, and it doesn’t surprise me that they are still active (although they did take a break for ten years). They fully understand the need for dynamics, and take the opportunity to slow their long song, “Draize”, so it it becomes something that is almost dark ambient in style and allows then to start the doom riffs all over again. Corrupted are also still going in one form or another, and are a Japanese outfit who apparently sing most of their songs in Spanish. Their song “Inactive” commits one of the cardinal sins in music, namely it is downright boring. There isn’t enough menace, enough direction, enough anything. But, according to the label this split release is a landmark so what do I know?