“Final State of Existence” is a new split courtesy of Unspeakable Axe Records that brings together two crushing death metal bands: Putrisect and Scorched. Normally I’d break out a split review by band, but in all honesty, most of the general comments about one band’s music can be applied to the other. Both Putrisect and Scorched play fairly typical old-school death metal: lots of tremolo picking, standard growled vocals, production that isn’t great but is still clear enough (with Scorched’s production gaining the edge), and the occasional blast beat (though Putrisect’s “Blasphemous Ritual” is filled with them). Scorched is a bit thrashier with their riffing, but most of the riffs on this album fall squarely in the death metal category.
One thing both bands do exceptionally well is make use of pinch harmonics. They don’t dominate the music, but they show up frequently enough to cause some serious mayhem. This is most evident on Scorched’s “Visceral Ascension”, which has the single greatest riff on the split. It causes some serious carnage, thanks in large part due to its subtle pinch harmonic usage (i.e. not Zakk Wylde level pinch harmonics). Another song deserving of special mention is Putrisect’s “Astral Martyrdom”. This one opens with a riff that would not be out of place on a mid-era Death record, and the riff is actually used quite a bit for the first minute of the song, but is played in different ways to keep things fresh.
Putrisect and Scorched both do a good job of mixing up tempos, but they never push the boundaries of either side (thankfully in the case of slow moments, and unfortunately in the case of faster ones). In fact, this would be a good summary of the split as a whole: band bands are incredibly competent and play relatively safe death metal. As much as I hate to admit it, this split took a while to get a handle on. I can’t help but feel that it would leave a more positive impact if one of the bands pushed the boundaries of death metal a bit further, but regardless, there isn’t a single weak moment on this release. If you’re a death metal fan, you’re going to be happy with the final product, particularly as old-school styled splits become less common in the metal world.
3.9/5 or 78%.
Written by Scott