Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: Exhumed & Iron Reagan - Split

What... no witty split title to christen this unholy alliance of in-your-face metal? That's a first of this year for the onslaught of Tankcrimes splits that have made, or are going to be making, their way into distribution. What about Reaganator 6000 or The Dead Presidential Slaughtercult... no? Fine. Up for the bloodbath are Exhumed and Iron Reagan, two bands that at first seem polar opposite of one another; one is new, one has been around the chopping block a few times. One is punk, one is death metal. One sings about politics, one sings about necrophilia. But there is just something about Ronald Reagan holding a chainsaw while being covered in blood and guts that entices us to listen and learn; whether it's curiosity or the sick fucks inside ourselves. Without further adieu here is the Exhumed/Iron Reagan split

Genre: Death Metal, Grindcore, Crossover, Hardcore Punk
Label: Tankcrimes
Release Date: January 7th, 2014

Exhumed
  1. Gravewalker
  2. Dead to the World
  3. Seeing Red (Minor Threat Cover)
  4. Ready to Fight (Negative Approach Cover)
Iron Reagan
  1. Life Beater
  2. Gave Up on Giving a Fuck
  3. Mini Lights
  4. Holy Water Makes Me Wet
Total Playtime: 11 minutes, 36 seconds


Rating: 5.0/10







What... no witty split title to christen this unholy alliance of in-your-face metal? That's a first of this year for the onslaught of Tankcrimes splits that have made, or are going to be making, their way into distribution. What about Reaganator 6000 or The Dead Presidential Slaughtercult... no? Fine. Up for the bloodbath are Exhumed and Iron Reagan, two bands that at first seem polar opposite of one another; one is new, one has been around the chopping block a few times. One is punk, one is death metal. One sings about politics, one sings about necrophilia. But there is just something about Ronald Reagan holding a chainsaw while being covered in blood and guts that entices us to listen and learn; whether it's curiosity or the sick fucks inside ourselves. Without further adieu here is the Exhumed/Iron Reagan split.

At first glance some people might wonder how in the hell these two bands are going to work out together on a split, though the answer is really quite simple; they're both fast and aggressive. That's pretty much the deal maker here, that and Exhumed compromise their sound just enough to let some punk style shine through. Sadly this split isn't one of the releases that was more well planned from Tankcrimes; it lacks a title, it's shorter than standard splits, both bands have released an album reasonably recently and it feels like they just slapped Exhumed on here to promote Iron Reagan. The artwork is clean cut yet gory and the album comes on your choice of limited white, tri color white/red/black and black in red vinyl, however that's really the only selling point worthwhile. If you do the math the Exhumed material makes up the heaviest portion of this content, clocking in at around eight of the eleven minutes. Also, the promotional bundle also included two brand new promo photos; something which the other split bundles had lacked.


Almost every metal head who is into death metal or grindcore loves Exhumed and clearly that is the main point of this split; include Exhumed, the title sells and the lesser known side project group will get acknowledged. You're probably thinking to yourself, "didn't they just release an album?", and the answer to that is yes... yes they did; as recently as August 2013. Metal fans have gone ape shit for this band since their reformation in 2010, which followed a five year split-up after the band dumped out a cover album in 2005, but they're going ape shit for the right reasons. Exhumed have the perfect marinade of masticated guitar and bass tones that soak up the mammoth intensity of the skilled drums that continuously assault the background of each and every one of their tracks. The split opens up promisingly as "Gravewalker" begins with one hell of a drum and bass solo, and fuck yeah, the ensuing three tracks of Exhumed material are headbanging, air guitar/air drum/air solo squealy worthy to the highest degree; right down to "Ready to Fight" which is a punk inspired track that is there to undeniably introduce Iron Reagan. But one question remains... why? Why bother issuing this material right now when Exhumed's sixth full-length album came out a mere five months ago? The audience can be the judge on that one. Exhumed's sound hasn't changed, the songs don't have anything overly important to say and other than "Gravewalker" there's nothing here that really must be heard.


It's no secret that The Dead Presidential Slaughtercult split is releasing the same day as Splatterhash, the Cannabis Corpse/Ghoul split. Iron Reagan are made up of two Municipal Waste members; bassist Land Phil who is also the vocalist/bassist in Cannabis Corpse and vocalist Tony Foresta. Land Phil switches up his regime by playing guitar in Iron Reagan while Tony still has the task of vocals, the other contributing members are comprised of an additional guitarist, bassist and drummer. There is something entirely too coincidental with same day split releases containing Land Phil projects, which makes this split feel all the more needlessly pushed out. Iron Reagan just released their debut album in March of 2013. There are only a few contributing factors that separate the sound of Municipal Waste from Iron Reagan; the lyrical themes are more mature and the music is slightly more combative. Enjoy the mere three minutes of this band's material, it goes by quick.

The Exhumed/Iron Reagan split feels entirely like a standard selling gimmick, and that feeling is horrible. Slap a well known name on it and it will sell is the lesson here, and that's a piss off. Most splits are pretty even in their time sharing, but if one does the math they'll come to realize that this one is so one-sided it might as well have been released as an Exhumed EP. Is the material good? Sure, it's good, but that's about as descriptive as it can get when there is no rhyme or reason for a release. Die hard fans should think twice about dropping their money on this album, you'd be better off shelling out the money for each band's LP and have four times the material.

Digital Download Provided by: Earsplit PR

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