Artist: Arghoslent / Martial Barrage
Album Title: Send Forth the Best Ye Breed
Label: Drakkar Productions
This is a split LP from Arghoslent and Martial Barrage, two death metal bands from America and Canada, respectively.
The Arghoslent side is exactly what you'd expect from this band: melodic, oddly upbeat death metal with a touch of Iron Maiden. They've outdone themselves with the over-the-top racist lyrics this time, too; "Fodder for the Shoah" is about exactly what you think it is, all over a surprisingly catchy (and almost sympathetic-sounding, though don't tell the band!) guitar line. "Converts at the Tents of Grace" has a swaggering, rocking main riff with the band's trademark sound, along with some great solo work. "Ghosts of Flossenburg" is by far the most impressive song on the record, with top-notch vocal delivery and epic songwriting. The atmosphere on the section after the middle break is exceptional!
Martial Barrage plays chaotic, blasting death metal with occasional slow parts. Both the production and songwriting here are a step up from their full-length, which was already good; they don't quite hold their own against Arghoslent, but then again, who does? Their side has some great moments nonetheless. The crazy guitar parts in "The Arctic Seat" are a perfect fit for the aggressive, rhythmic vocal delivery and pounding drums. Likewise, the frantic bass work and varied songwriting on "Murus Strictus" more than live up to the band's name. The opening theme of "Rising Sun Creation" stands out even on a split chock-full of great guitar lines, and allows the band to indulge in a more melodic moment before the shells begin to fall once more...
This is one of the best splits I've heard in a while -- Martial Barrage is great, Arghoslent is excellent as always, and the theme, band selection, and even the Kipling-inspired album title are perfectly executed here. Though they're very different in sound, I think anyone who enjoys either of these bands should appreciate the other. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Fodder for the Shoah", "Ghosts of Flossenburg" ; "Murus Strictus", "Rising Sun Creation"