BLACK SLEEP OF KALI / UNION OF SLEEP (s/t) Split 12"
This split piece of wax (released in 2012 by Per Koro Records in cooperation with This Charming Man Records) is loaded with a bunch of loud tunes that I am sure will please fans of both acts. Four tracks from each. First up: BLACK SLEEP OF KALI from the USA. About two years ago, they released their debut album 'Our Slow Decay' (review here) via Small Stone Records. They have, however, very little in common with the other bands on Small Stone. In place of 1970's-inspired heavy rock, BLACK SLEEP OF KALI offer a crushing, blackstained blend of mid-period Neurosis, DC-styled hardcore punk, and sludge (or something like that). In any case, it is heavy and opressive.
Basically, the four tracks on the first side of this 12" continue where they stopped two years ago. It is, however, worthy of note that BLACK SLEEP OF KALI have worked on themselves. The new songs are still technically demanding, but they have more grip and there are more melodic undertones. 'Cosmonaut' is a good example of this: it shows how BLACK SLEEP OF KALI have sharpened their abilities to combine all parts into giant constructs of pain and anger. It isn't always easy to follow the song structures, because there are a lot of changes in each song, but this makes it interesting to me. Oh by the way you can download these songs for free on their bandcamp site.
Next to the starting blocks: UNION OF SLEEP from Germany. With this in mind, it should be obvious that we are still on the road of darkness. The four tunes they offer up on this split are really great, and really stand their ground against BLACK SLEEP OF KALI on the other side. To be quite honest, it didn't surprise me. Since the band's debut record three years ago, UNION OF SLEEP paved their way ahead continuously. In doing this, they always manage to vary their uncompromising filth-encrusted wall of sound, although this does not mean that it has become more friendly. Actually, quite the contrary is the case. Proof of this is provided by the four pummeling new tracks that are dark and brooding like hot tar. Top it all off with an suitable raw yet powerful production job and the end result is 15:27 minutes of controlled agony and rage.
As with the previous album 'Death In The Place Of Rebirth' (review here), UNION OF SLEEP create an explosive heavy amalgam by merging hardcore punk, sludge and noise rock. Well, it's not easy to categorize their music, but who cares as long as they sound great. My conclusion is therefore: anyone who likes one of the bands or both can't go wrong with this 12". It comes with a lyric sheet and a digital download code. I'm pretty sure this is a limited pressing, so get it sooner rather than later.