Artist: Ruina / Tundra / Operation Winter Mist
Album Title: Allegiance of the Profane Pack
Label: None More Black
This is a split between Ruina, a Ukranian band playing black metal, Tundra, an Italian band playing black metal, and Operation Winter Mist, a Canadian band playing blackened death metal.
The Ruina side of this is great mid-paced, riff-heavy black metal. The lead guitar work and excellent bass lines are especially noteworthy -- and they have a mouth harp! Awesome! The fierce, inspiring songwriting here is quite impressive. I love the varied vocals as well. Songs like "The Tree of Kin Is Rotting" and "Ukruina" are packed with ferocity and pagan feeling, and "Cattle Sapiens" has a regretful, melancholic atmosphere.
The less said about the Tundra side of this split, the better. It's boring, one-note Darkthrone-style black metal which starts off with a poor cover of "Transilvanian Hunger", and only gets worse from there. I have no idea why this band is even on this split; they have absolutely nothing in common with the other two bands, either in quality or in style.
The songs on the Operation Winter Mist side are absolutely killer -- these are a huge improvement over the tracks on their previous full-length records. They're dropped the blasting black metal sections in favor of crushing, swaggering death metal, and nothing could be more appropriate to the lyrical subject at hand. These guys are one of the few "war metal" bands out there with the balls to write songs about the wars their country is actually in right now, and good on 'em! Both "Battleflag" and "Suicide Warfare" are ripping, inspiring tributes to conflict and valor. I cannot wait to hear a full-length record of songs like these... and the Slaughter cover is pretty good, as well.
If you skip the Tundra tracks, this is a damn good split CD; there's more than enough quality metal here to justify the purchase. Recommended.
Standout tracks: "Ukurina", "The Tree of Kin Is Rotting", "Battleflag", "Suicide Warfare"