Nerve Altar Split
Grindcore Karaoke/Nerve Altar
If I had my shit together (I know, I know; just pretend, ok?), somebody would have gotten bumped from my best splits of 2012 list because this violent and violenter pairing towers over the landscape like a classic Godzilla/King Ghidorah smackdown. No matter who wins, Tokyo's ass is getting leveled. Water Torture and thedowngoing are two bands at the peak of their abilities arbitrarily laying waste to the landscape.
If you haven't jumped on the Water Torture bandwagon yet (and seriously, what more does VII need to do to get your attention?), this is a perfect entry point because the bass/drum neo-violence duo have never been tighter or more abrasive. This is a bad mood, morning after hangover, waking up with your skanky ex kind of bummer trip, drool faced, red eyed and pissed off at the world. The secret to Water Torture's downtrodden groove is their blend of Iron Lung stumble getting electro shocked to the balls courtesy of The Endless Blockade. It's a devastating, thoroughly modern combination that nods to masters old and new while still leaving its own indelible mark.
Flipside, Aussie dervishes thedowngoing play a cold eyed game of chicken, piling all seven of their songs into a single, unrelenting five minute track. There is no off ramp, no exit and they dare you to blink. Musically, the duo are picking right up from where the awesome ATHOUSANDYEARSOFDARKNESS and their contribution to Monomaniac left off. In Water Torture, thedowngoing have finally found a band that can match their auditory killing spree. These are two of the most hostile, abrasive and uncompromising bands working today and each need only two members to drown out every other band that fancies themselves extreme. So yeah, I was too slow to get this one lined up for 2012, but 2013 isn't so old that we can't fondly look back one more time before we step forward.