This split teams together two rather unknown Finnish bands with a lot of attitude - and likely a taste for booze.
"Hatred United" is the recording debut for Gasmask Violence, and they surely make an impression. The quintet's music is a mixture of raw, drunken and simplistic punk-catchiness a'la Mentors, but it's served with faster Motörhead-rocking as well as some heavier thrash metal-features. The raw garage-soundscape suits the short songs really well, albeit they might've used some extra grain and snot to sound even wilder and more obnoxious. The songs' most distinctive feature is the vocalist's low and guttural voice and his heavy pronounciation that may take a while to get used to, but in the end they perfectly suit the lyrics of praising heavy metal, destruction and booze. The songs are simple but damn catchy, and have more bone-headed attitude than most bands can even dream of delivering. You can give it a six or a nine out of ten, and both grades are equally justified. This one's for the ragged metalheads out there.
This split is already the third recording for Vuohi, released after two demos (the newer one's reviewed here). They're a lot more serious and darked band than G.V., but they've compensated the difference by offering just one original song and three cover songs of attitude-filled classics. "Retaliation" continues from where the band left off at their previous demo; it's a mixture of grindcore-paced bursts, thrashy riffs, death metal-heaviness and a dark feel that oves a lot to black metal. The soundscape's rather thin, but the guitars' rawness and the clear and sharp snare-sound bring a lot of movement to the songs - and it's a big leap forward from their previous demo's muddy soundscape.
"Retaliation" isn't too memorable per se, not least because it appears into existence right after the much simpler and catchier song "Heavy Metal is Dangerous," but it's a stylish one for sure. The guitars would've benefited from a sharper and just a bit heavier sound on this one, but the following three songs make amends of the situation. The cover songs are reverent to their original performances, but simultaneously give them a good dose of the band's own sound; the Lama-cover is the best example, as the band managed to give the originally punk rock-song a fitting dose of grindcore-blasting and delivered its slower mid-part through death metal. Style and respect are the key words here, even if we're talking about classics from the more (or less) extreme fields of music. The soundscape ties all these four songs into a solid entirety, and I congratulate the band for that achievement - although I hope their next actual release will feature a soundscape with more contrasts to deliver the final kick.
This split is a good buy if you want to briefly educate yourself about metal. Gasmask Violence comes from the gutter whereas Vuohi sits in the darker shades of the pub, but the bands do complement each other. The simplistic visual side isn't an eyesore to look at either (the disc-print is actually worth a chuckle or two) and the record has just the right playing time. Hopefully we'll be hearing more from these two in the near future.