This untitled 4-way split features "raw grinding fungal atrocity" from four young underground grind-acts. Arroyo comes from Finland, and the other three from Canada.
Arroyo opens up with five songs in five minutes. The band sounded promising already on their debut demo, but now they really seem to have gotten all the pieces together. They utilize really raw and grainy sounds; the cymbals hiss but the actual drums are way in the back, the guitars are really raw and distorted, the bass pounds strongly to give the songs a firmer structure, and the vocalist's gurgles and screams really nail the lo-fi approach. The edged soundscape is unstable but highly enjoyable, and suits the fast and simplistic mincecore more than well. The songs deliver a great deal of energy and hostile attitude, and have enough twists and changes to remain interesting. This is a quality five-minuter, for sure. The group's youth can be heard through the sheer amount of energy, and I hope they won't lose it in the near future. I'd buy a 7"-EP from this band, but sadly they haven't yet made one.
Ogre comes in without any pause after Arroyo. Their brand of grindcore is heavier and more based on rhythms than speed. The vocals are really low, possibly pitch-shifted growls that suit the bass-heavy and crunchy songs well. As said, the songs rely on their simple and repetitive rhythms and their sludgy and slightly goregrind-like feel instead of any actual hooks, aside of the last song of theirs which has a nicely bouncy riff. Ogre doesn't leave much of a memory trail, but I enjoyed their filth-covered approach. I just wonder if they're just messing around with the project instead of actually developing their craft, because it seems that they could easily push their concept further. Still, not bad.
Opening side B is five minutes' worth of Meatus. They open up with a mid-pace and bass-heavy riff that's topped with really slimy gurgles, and I have to admit that I was pretty much instantly sold. The cymbals are very hissing and the drums sound sharp despite the grainy sound and lo-fi production values that all the four bands share, but the drums' noisiness merely makes the songs sound less of a mush of bassy and rhythmic riffs and pitch-shifted gurgles. The band isn't afraid of fast blasting either, and although the songs tend to turn into a puddle of sludge when they pick up the pace, their feel and attitude keep them from becoming stale or boring. The guys of Ogre should learn from this band. Meatus still has work to do in getting more personality and a tighter grip of their music, but they're off to a good start for sure.
Last up is Hallucinosis with a bit over six minutes of mincecore in the same vein as Arroyo. The songs are fast and reckless, and have raw but somewhat clear and not too heavy sounds that bring out the riffs well. Their delivery just lacks the firm grip and tightness that would make them appealing and powerful, and this sloppiness, together with the powerless muffled growls that soften the soundscape, make their share on this split seem lackluster. It seems as if their riffs were too fast or complicated for them to deliver them tightly, and I'd recommend the group to get a good hold of the basics before trying to go further.
The split is packed in a black&white printer-paper sleeve, with each band having one page for them to use. It doesn't look like much, but it holds all the necessary info and surely fits the underground approach. If you're really into DIY-grindcore, you might want to purchase this one. Highly affordable.