K.N.S.K. / SLOTH - Split-7"

K.N.S.K. / Sloth - Split-7"

3 songs
11 minutes
***** ****
Shifty

K.N.S.K. page

Sloth page

Getting mail from Japan is always a very suspenseful experience. I have hardly got over the crazy guys from Bathtub Shitters, and there's already another parcel with a split-7" and a promo tape, and all of this in this apparent age of digitalisation. K.N.S.K. stands for Knell Never Saves Kingdom, and don't even ask me about the meaning of this. K.N.S.K. are three guys who are deeply indebted to Black Sabbath, and the song Fate on the EP proves that very worthily. But instead of just being a clone, they have developed their sound into a rougher early 90s brand of doom metal. After reviewing the British Ramesses a couple of months ago, I now get the impression that the doom underground is alive and kicking, and no surprise it's just underground, because the raw production and the relentless slowness of the pace make this anything but mass-accessible rock music. The vocalist has a grating voice, but at times (on the promotional tape) adds some melodic parts as well as some keyboards. But don't worry, these guys are anything but wimps. This is one of the most convincing and probably also convinced doom bands I have heard in a long time, a little more accessible than the aforementioned Ramesses, but rougher than for instance early Cathedral. This is the sound you normally expect from a label like Southern Lord. Great stuff, especially the two lengthy tracks (8 and 9 minutes) on the promotional tape.

But let's get back to the 7". The other side is filled by two "songs" (emphasis as used by the band) of Ohio noise bastards Sloth. After watching the movie Seven, you probably know that Sloth is one of the Mortal Sins, and these Ohians sound as if sinning is their business. I can't remember having heard such purposefully bad music. This is no-wave added with abrasive noise core and a very twisted sense of humour. The last time I heard something similar was when Mars ft. DNA had a take at Mozart's opera Don Juan, and it was great. Take the weirdness of early Accsed, or crazy British vintage grind core like Lawnmower Deth, or any other musical anarchists. The first track even has some melodic vocals in the chorus, while the second song is longer and more experimental, with Japanese sounding percussion and a vocalist who rhythmically screams his distorted lyrics into the microphone. By the way, Sloth have appeared on more than 20 releases although they haven't released a proper album yet.

Released on the rural Ohio label Shifty Records, this split-7" has a pressing of only 150 limited copies. Collectors of the truly amazing should start looking to get their copy, as this is one amazing piece of vinyl, featuring awesome Japanese old school doom metal and with Sloth on of the few (un?-)musical innovators I have heard in a long time. Great stuff!

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