Date Released: 16/09/2016
Label: Broken Limbs Recordings
“Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gavel” Split LP//DD track listing:
1). Black Tar Prophet – Malignancy
2). Black Tar Prophet – Ruinous Decay
3). Black Tar Prophet – Sociopathic Society
4). Black Tar Prophet – Abuse
5). Iron Gavel – Teeth/Torn
6). Iron Gavel – Shroud
7). Iron Gavel – Germ
Splits are always a great time, but when you have the Likes of the sonic muck makers Black Tar Prophet on one, you must cleanse the soul for what's to come oozing from your speakers. BTP have been dragging fans into a sludge infested quagmire for a while now, and when paired with funereal Iron Gavel, thou shalt not leave unmarked.
Kicking the piece off, Black Tar Prophet lets loose the malignancy with their harsh, throbbing brand of sludge, with the track “Malignant”. Throughout their half of the split (4 songs, #1-4), it's like listening to cancer grow, an almost bulbous sound generated by their nothing-but-low-end approach, as it just slowly grows from one song to the next. The soundbites are religious, anxious, full of nothing but bad vibes; and their music is the sonorous black velvet curtain behind the show. They only stray from slow trudging at the end of “Ruinous Decay” and the aptly titled “Abuse”, going faster and more violent throughout the latter, and towards the last minute more groove oriented on the former, respectively. And for the record, BTP makes 3 minute songs feel like a whole album.
And after that punishing journey, Iron Gavel gives us some simple midnight oil stained doom, spread across the remaining 3 tracks. They have a more traditional feel in the doom/sludge area, closer to an Electric Wizard type sound but with a more bass heavy tone; hard to explain until you pick this one up. Opening with thunderous “Teeth/Thorn”, Iron Gavel riffs like a giant striding across distant lands, shaking everything around with its mighty steps. They utilize effects well, giving a spacey vibe and large sound to the track, and then busting out some truly fun riffage with distortion and some phase. “Shroud” follows suit, keeping that deep, muddy distortion tone, but is much faster, and so much shorter at 1:31. Fun track to just jam out to. They end with “Germ”, another long song at a little over 6 minutes, and just as full of fuzzy goodness! These guys fill rooms with a sound large enough to blacken the lights, if this split is any to go by.
If you're a fan of doom/sludge bands with no vocals and nothing else other than pure volume from their amps, these two bands will delight you! Treat yourself to one of the most even matched records of the year, and prepare to feel a beating in your ear canal as we offer you the full and exclusive stream of the whole split below.
“Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gavel” is available here