Iron Witch/The Atrocity Exhibit
Witch Hunter/Dead Chemists
It doesn’t feel like two minutes ago since Iron Witch and The Atrocity Exhibit emerged onto the underbelly of the UK underground music scene, only to stick their boots into its collective craw. Maybe it’s just a sign of how damn busy these bands are to make their name, or how quickly word spreads. Whatever it is, by now if you’re a follower of UK sludge, doom, grind, or any shouty goodness going on, you should be well aware of who both those bands are by now. And if you’re not, where have you been? The two have now combined for a split 7”, contributing a single track each that revels in noise of a putrid splendour, and hatred of its subject matter of a venomous kind.
Iron Witch have long held claim now to being the new kings of UK sludge, and strengthen that claim here with ‘Her Cheating Heart’. Their longest track to date, at 6:42, they credit ‘all the lying, cheating whores who made this possible’. In no way bitter at all, they do what they do best and make it even better – a depressing and thoroughly heavy trudge that riffs hard. Vocalist Chris yells ‘if you had a heart it’d break in two’ with all the spleen of a man wronged and to top it all off, the song ends with an ever so brief but cracking slow lead that reminds me ever so slightly of that awesome one at the end of Iron Monkey’s ‘Fink Dial’. The sort that screams ‘fuck you, I win!’ Or in this case ‘fuck you’. Brilliant stuff.
In contrast, The Atrocity Exhibit take a diversion that their usual blast and destroy approach to grind, which so often works wonders. Instead, theirs is a true slug, a slow and obdurate track entitled ‘Throne of Bile’ that over its course exerts so much sonic pressure you’d think the speakers might explode under the weight. The band go out of their way to make this as uncomfortable a sludge track as you might imagine, eventually shifting upwards in tempo just enough to release some of the tension, but in no way letting the listener off lightly. Theirs too is just as hateful, and appropriately unpredictable.
This split has been available since late October of last year and you can still obtain one of 500 black vinyl copies via Witch Hunter Records and Dead Chemists Records, who came together to put out this release jointly. Follow the links below, stream and support. Smashing job all round.