One of the advantages of writing for The Shaman is the opportunity to check out previously overlooked artists/releases and this spilt is no exception. To quote Armageddon Label owner/Dropdead guitarist Ben Barnett this was ‘A long-planned reissue project, it’s nice to have this one finally happen after only 15 years since we started talking about it!’. He goes on to explain that the 7” ‘was pretty influential to a fledgling Dropdead back in 1991/1992’.
The first five tracks on the split belong to G-Anx who originated from Jönköping, Sweden in 1982 and whose line-up consisted of Patrik – vox, Steve – guitar, Hedda – bass, and Hoccy – drums. The tracks on this split represent their first release and its worth mentioning the Flashbacks compilation which handily brings together the majority of their output and avoids the hassle of having to trawl through Discogs.
True Story recalls both Celtic Frost and Discharge and the amusingly titled Chicken Fuck features Sabbathy doomy parts as well as warp speed hardcore ala DRI, SOD, and Lethal Aggression which will satisfy crossover fans. Mitt Liv (My Life) reminds me of the aforementioned Discharge and their track The Possibility Of Life’s Destruction, it feels a lot more stripped down and to the point, pre that band’s dismal Grave New World period (thank Christ).
warp speed hardcore ala DRI, SOD, and Lethal Aggression…
Enkelbiljetten (One-Way Ticket?) starts off slowly with some pretty cool Cliff Burton style bass before descending into beautiful hardcore chaos with Ratos de Porão being a possible comparison, what with the somewhat gruffer vocal style. The blink and you’ll miss it No Religion Can Save Us From Hell concludes G-Anx‘s side and what has been an exceptionally fun collection of tracks to listen to, it’s only a shame they never got round to recording a full-length album.
The remaining six tracks on the split come from Falun, Sweden’s Filthy Christians who according to the promo notes ‘started out as a hardcore band but wanted to play faster’. Unlike G-Anx, Filthy Christians managed to put out a full-length entitled Mean (released on the then great Earache Records) and whose graphic front cover I first spotted in the book Heavy Metal Thunder: Album Covers That Rocked the World. The band comprised of vocalist Per Thunell, guitarists Lasse and Daniel Hammare, bassist Pelle and drummer Ola Strålin.
Opener Satanist features some nice alternation between Heresy’s thrashcore and the Bombanfall’s crust punk while Lev Som Du Lär (Live As You Learn) has shades of Corrosion of Conformity’s Minds Are Controlled from the Eye For An Eye days, ah how I miss that era of COC. Vaktmästar Jazz (Olle P) (Caretaker Jazz), switches brilliantly between the bands usual breakneck crust/grindcore and mellow jazzy guitar for what is the record’s most intriguing number.
nice alternation between Heresy’s thrashcore and the Bombanfall’s crust punk…
Meningslöst Våld or Meaningless Voice, the shortest track on the record, is a blast of raw energy and demonstrative of Napalm Death at their peak. Another Metal Band is a criticism of hardcore bands who went down the metal route, which is interesting seeing as Filthy Christians went down a death metal path with their final release Nailed. Skate And Die is a short blast of silliness that helps to round off the release in the satirical tradition of Sore Throat.
I always preferred grindcore when it was orientated towards the hardcore/crust punk end of the spectrum. That’s of course no disrespect to the likes of Pig Destroyer, Carcass or even latter-day Napalm Death, but the earlier sound of the genre always struck me as more vital and hence the reason why this legendary 7” proved such a thrilling listen for me.
Label: Armageddon Label
Scribed by: Reza Mills