ACEPHALIX "Interminable Night"

ALPINIST "Lichtlarm/Minus Mensch"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Southern Lord is a label that's gone through a lot of phases of heavy music...from pure doom/ stoner in the beginning to screeching black metal to head-scratching avant garde and now, in recent months, crushing death metal and hardcore of the most primal kind. That brings us to these two devastating releases.

Acephalix are another addition to the growing army of crude, filthy death metal reactionaries. "Interminable Night" joins the latest from Ilsa, Witchrist and Vastum in that growing fact, Acephalix shares members with Vastum and the resemblances between the two bands are strong. This record features seven gonad-smashing blasts of crude sonic violence featuring tar pit riffs, rotten vocals and a general feeling of macabre degeneracy. Personally, I love this shit and I can easily see armies of decayed corpses headbanging and moshing themselves to bits as the likes of "Warm Flesh" and "Christhole" blast through the tombstones.

Germany's Alpinist is a different beast, although they are rawer in a way even than Acephalix. "Lichtlarm/Minus Mensch" combines previous material into one massive CD release for the first time. This is incredibly angry and aggressive hardcore in the vein of old Converge mixed some slower post-rock dissonance. Odd song titles like "The Cursed Word Open Minded", "Hak Nam", "Night-time Poet, Day-time Dead" and "Yarncarrier and Break" reveal either crazed minds or horrible understanding of English at work, but just about every tune here is fierce, with screaming vocals to match. Yet there is some clever songwriting going on as well. A very intense and forward thinking hardcore release.

I don't know if Acephalix and Alpinist are the future of Southern Lord, but I sure like what I hear from them.