PAGANIZER / DEPRESSION - Unglaube / Split Wide Open (SUFFER Productions CD 2008)
I have to say that there was time, when I was picking up every new release. Whatever it was... new album, EP or split, I had to have it. And then I also started to collect anything that Johansson decided to record with his other (countless) projects. But the problem started, when I realized that some of his stuff sounded mediocre at best. Some was really fuckin killer, some other was just useless and forgettable. So does this split with Depression. "Split Wide Open" was released four years after the killer "No Divine Rapture" CD, but I am not quite sure when exactly it was recorded. Two songs were released on split with Eroded, which is good. But you can hear that there's a mixture of songs from various recording sessions, so the sound quality differs and even the style between some tracks is varied. I mean we have here songs like "Abortion Van", "Gasmask Obsession" or "This Place Is Rot", which offer a solid, mid-paced groovy death metal in the classic Swedish vein and they sound really great. Nice riffs, good feeling, proper heavy production... Good stuff! But there are also songs, which not only suffer for bad production, but stylistically are completely different from the usual . They're more like a simplistic, blasting grind core. The thing is, these songs sound like were composed and recorded in five minutes (some songs don't even have titles, come on!). Rushed and with no particular idea. The result is poor and rather annoying. I think that publishing such stuff is just waste of time. So, we get maybe four pretty solid songs and whole bunch, which I can skip, because they're worth shit.
Depression is also a band with huge discography, but if I have to be honest, this split with is the only thing from them, which I know. They did many splits and some full length albums, but I either never cared or never had a chance to listen to them. Besides, I can't say that their style of music is my favourite. It's sort of grinding death metal, with a bit old school feel, some groovy, chunky riffs, rather simple song structures and arrangements... It's music, which needs to have energy and be easy to get into, yet it has to sound brutal and kind of "sick". And as such, I think it's pretty solid effort, Depression (what an unsuitable band name!) came up with ten songs (plus intro / outro), which sound not bad at all, especially when the tempo is slowed down. Like in "In the End...Unknowing" and "Howling at My Backdoor Pt. 2". I can say that I quite like these two songs, because Depression has some cool riffs there, the performance is good and production is decent. I like also their death metal growls, they sound perfect, but I hate when they use these high shrieks or whatever you call it. That ruins everything for me ! Anyway, as I mentioned, there's plenty of solid stuff and if you enjoy rather mid or slow paced death metal with grind influence, then it can be for you. There's Benediction cover (" Irreligion" from their debut LP) also. Unfortunately, again there are three or four songs, which are very good and some other, which are simply mediocre...
What I would do, I would cut the whole split and leave up to 25 minutes of music and this way I would get an excellent effort. Split was released in 2008 by Suffer Productions, limited to 1000 copies, but it should be pretty easy to find. Not a mandatory release though, even for die hard fans.
Standout tracks: "In the End...Unknowing", "Howling at My Backdoor Pt. 2", "Abortion Van", "This Place Is Rot"