Retortion Terror and Invidiosus serve up a high-speed, fourteen minute technical grindcore split with one stronger half holding up the weaker side as on most split releases.
On the A-side is Retortion Terror featuring guitarist Takafumi Matsubara of Mortalized and Gridlink. The riffing continues right where he left after Gridlink’s final album Longhena with feverish long form tremolo picked riffs seemingly inspired by post-hardcore chord progressions mixed with the Hellhammerisms occassionally displayed by Mortalized. Thankfully, Retortion Terror retains the metal composition instincts of Longhena too.
Retortion Terror manages to somehow even be more aggressive and much more violent than Mortalized by their drumming of single foot blasts and d-beats sounding like iron age war drums marching men off to eventual fortune and glory. The overall affect is sometimes almost like Dawn at grindcore pace and cadence as these tracks all progress to epic battles that conclude logically, mostly conjuring visions of butchered corpses on the ground amongst the ashes of thatch-roofed huts jarred against a painterly sunset. The A-side ends with Retortion Terror’s grindcore war band marching home victorious, ready to fend off all reprisals and fight another day.
Invidiosus’s B-side has goregrind and Immolation-lite style riffs played at hyperspeed in mostly riff salad compositions that don’t really go anywhere; riffs and progressions peter out instead of taking the listener somewhere or conveying some truth. The musicianship is excellent but conveys nothing beyond how how technically capable the musicians in the band are. Right now, they sound like one of those hardcore bands who discovered Immolation, taught themselves how but not why, and are meandering about without the necessary knowledge of how to effectively use their newfound tools.
Invidiosus would do well to ditch the gang vocals and listen to the first five Immolation albums repeatedly, making sure to notice just how deliberate Immolation and the best death metal truly was. Everything was in service of a handful of effective riffs that progressed forward logically and eventually recombined toward a fitting conclusion in mostly modal riff mazes. Tracks like “Where Evolution Ends” show that Invidiosus have the necessary musicianship but will they make anything worthwhile with it? Only time will tell.
Retortion Terror / Invidious will be well worth for Hessians and grindcore fans to listen to when it is eventually released due to the strength of Retortion Terror’s A-side material. Matsubara’s new band furthers the heavy metal composition of Longhena towards a death metal poignancy hinting of greater victories to hopefully come.