I think it’s safe to say that whenever we see a new split come around it comes in the form of two, sometimes more, bands of similar sound that decided to put together material for a singular release for one reason or another. Not often enough do we see two completely different sounds come together for a split that feels more like a thematic collaboration more than anything else, and I truly don’t know why it’s not more of a thing given the wondrous creations that could effortlessly be done at the flick of a wrist at any given time. To see the realms of death metal and industrial ambient come together in one eviscerating album is something that we simply don’t see often by any stretch, yet that didn’t stop Phalanx Inferno or Melek-Tha from creating a split of truly titanic proportions.
To the uninformed or unintiated, bringing together the two extremely different worlds of death metal and anything industrial ambient would sound like mixing two ideas together with surely nothing but bad results to come out of the exercise once it’s finished. In the wrong hands, it absolutely can come across as a bungled mess that would probably be self-described as “avant-garde” when it’s not much more than a showcase of flailing. However, it’s with the union of Phalanx Inferno and Melek-Tha that we get a sonic assault that covers the complete opposite ends of the spectrum in extremity magnificently as both bands bring their respective styles to the table as we would normally expect out of either of them but it’s the simple gesture of blending them together that makes for an eldritch terror of a listen that is equal parts all-consuming, raw fury, and forbidden knowledge of pure madness that works almost too well. It’s Melek-Tha that bookends “Order of Eternal Indifference” with their deep, dark ambient that has clear, strong industrial elements that adds so many strong flavors into an already potent cauldron to the point that it really feels as though it’s the very soundtrack of what the depiction of hell is in Clive Barker’s original Hellraiser film with how foreboding and vicious it all feels despite almost always at a low volume with an occasional voice from beyond that really cuts underneath the skin to unnerve and displace in a way that is all but undeniable. In the midst of all of that, though, it’s Phalanx Inferno that brings the raw, forward, and unforgiving power of truly vicious death metal that wouldn’t even let up for the very ending of the world with the energy always at a maximum, providing even more contrast to the ritualistic performance of Melek-Tha. There isn’t a single thing about the brand of offensive, bloodthirsty madness that Phalanx Inferno commands that can be considered anything less than uncompromising with it’s final defiant notes flowing into the subliminal chaos that makes up the final half of “Order of Eternal Indifference”.
With the last echoes of the split really showing why that title is beyond perfect for such a union of otherworldly madness, it is for the true entirety of the split that Phalanx Inferno and Melek-Tha make their own in order to deliver a caustic listen that holds back for nothing to constantly deliver a scathing presence that does nothing but provide a high-quality experience of existential suffering that we rarely see elsewhere from such a pairing. Should there ever be proof needed in order to show the union of death metal and industrial ambient has more than enough cause to exist in all of its sublime madness, “Order of Eternal Indifference” should be one of the first works to come to the mind for all that it is and all that it achieves without failure.
LISTEN to “Order of Eternal Indifference” on Bandcamp here.
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