Long in the works and finally released as a split-label effort between Infernal Machines and depraved local imprint Volva just as the two bands were about to embark on their 2019 summer tour together, Morbid Deviations is the long-awaited split album featuring two of the Baltimore / Maryland area's most vicious and destructive black metal outfits. Released as a pro-manufactured tape with on-shell printing and packaged with a pair of 1" buttons each bearing the sigil of each band, and released in a limited edition of two hundred copies, this motherfucker seethes with all of the violent, inebriated energy that these two outfits have harnessed over the past decade.
The Athame side blows this up immediately with three sweat-and-blood stained blasts of morbid ugliness from the fringes of Appalachia. It's a fetid mixture of pulsating cellar emanations with brief moments of cavernous ambiance and abstract ritualistic rattling amid the crushing chaotic, sludge-n'-punk stained black metal of "Human Flood" and "I, Accuser", with an ode to classic 80's deathrock surfacing in the middle with Athame's barbaric rendition of Christian Death's "Figurative Theatre". There is a wretched, lurching, blasting hatefulness that grips the witch-blade and follows the continuum of their underheard but satisfyingly grimy discs With Cunning Fire and Adversarial Resolve and The Burning Times. To date, some of their best work that I've heard.
On the B-side, Baltimore's Xeukatre follow with their own uniquely putrid melange of Les Legions Noires-influenced filth and ghastly low-fidelity punk. Frenzied and rotten, their three offerings "Dirgelwch Ffydd", "Sigrdrifumal" and "Scalding Blizzard of Seraphim Tears" waft off of their side of this tape like fumes from a corpse-clotted gutter. One of the few releases to surface from the trio even after a decade of skulking around dimly-lit Baltimore-area venues , this is some of the best raw, unhinged black metal coming out of the area, and hopefully a portent of more new material to come at some point in the near goddamned future.
A full-length split album that features three exclusive tracks from each band, presented with professionally manufactured cassettes with black-on-silver shell print, in a limited edition of 200 copies. Each cassette comes sealed with a pair of ATHAME and XEUKATRE 1" badges.