This split, released in the last days of 2011, unites two Finnish bands from the underground's sewers. Both of them had made one demo prior to this split, but I bought neither of them - a decision I now regret. Since releasing this split, Prodeath was featured on a live-split tape with Bizarre Uproar and Silent Abuse on the label Filth & Violence.
After a brief sample from (I presume) some old horror movie, Flooded Church of Asmodeus begin their churning. "Vampire Epidemic" is a repetitive mid-tempo churning with a vast, raw, bassy and downright filthy sound. It sounds loud and distorted, and packs a lot of mass and punch. A primitive riff and monotonal drumming leads through the song aside of some short bits with guitar feedback, making this song just an excellent display of primal power and gutter sleaze. It doesn't progress anywhere simply because it doesn't need to. "The Skull Collector" is a much faster and shorter piece with louder drums and overall breaking and unbalanced sound that makes the song pleasingly noisy and crackling. This is just a small breather, though, as soon the third song arrives with its sluggy and almost doomy churning to take the opening song's oppression even further. Add a short burst of faster noise to the end, and the beating fades.
The vocals are hoarse and hissing shouts, but they are so far in the back and carry such a muffled and distorted sound that they're more of a small add to the overall sound and compositions than a driving force of any sort.
Flooded Church of Asmodeus smells like death and decay, and the vast and raw sound with a feel of an abandoned hall or a cellar room takes the songs far. A steady and forceful pulse of dirt washes over the listener for six minutes, which is just the right length for the songs to retain their interest value and to make an impact. This amount of well executed, merciless and bone-headed black noise has zero entertainment value and a limited amount of people who will find it appealing, but personally, I'd gladly hear a longer recording from the band.
Whereas FCoA relied on grainy heaviness and mid-tempos, Prodeath assaults with blackened and filthy crust-grinding with loud shouts. The soundscape is harsh with some hiss and feedback constantly in the background, and this hiss blends together with the guitars to create a field of harsh lo-fi distortion. The drums sound equally primitive, whereas the loud shouts push through the mass.
The songs range from slow and heavy rhythmic songs to total punk-grinding and violence with little musicianship involved. The harsh sound makes the instruments blend together, aside of the time when the fat and sturdy bass has the room to unleash its steady pounding. I would guess that the recordings are a rehearsal-live of some sort since the soundscape changes a bit between some songs. It is harsh throughout, but occasioanally the drums and bass have more force and make the songs way better. When the soundscape is driven by the raw guitars and hissing drums, the songs make very little impact despite their chaotic hostility.
There is definitely a good amount of attempt and even appeal here, but I feel safe to say that the band can do a lot better than this. The record sounds too divided between its two extremes, which lessens its impact. Yet, there's clearly a promise of something stronger to come, and I'll be waiting for that time.
The detailed hand-drawn cover image looks stunning and suits this slab of filth perfectly. The covers are black prints on yellow paper with no information on the bands but the track lists and the label's logo, and the vinyl center has a crude stamp to mark the sides. It all comes together to support the split's character, and I have zero complaints!
For fans of blackened filth.