Sea of Bones / Ramlord - Split
Broken Limbs Recordings
Doom Metal / Blackened Crust Punk
2 songs (20' 16")
Release year: 2016
Broken Limbs Recordings
Reviewed by Andy

Three years ago, we reviewed Sea of Bones' second LP, but hadn't seen any new releases from them till this year, when the trio released an EP. I haven't checked it out yet, but in the meantime, they have an additional offering in the form of a split with blackened crust-punk outfit Ramlord. The two go together nicely, with Sea of Bones' giant, crawling riffs on the first track complementing Ramlord's faster d-beat on the second. And even though each band only contributes one song, the 10-minute length of each gives the listener plenty of bang for their buck.

Hopelessness and Decay plays to Sea of Bones' strengths: Dragging tempos, crushing riffs, and a cavernous sense of space. The doom metal speeds up a bit three minutes in, as if someone switched gears on a huge piece of mining equipment designed to crush rocks in some inconceivably violent way, but there are still enough slow portions and unexpected near-silences, underlined by a palm-muted bass, for the listener to get the level of agony in the howled vocals. In contrast to the dull krrrummp of Sea of Bones' sound, Ramlord's guitars have sharp teeth on Incarceration of Clairvoyance (Part Three), but the transition is very smooth since the track starts out slow. A couple minutes in, the band's punk side asserts itself in the beat, but there is complexity here that also takes its turn, stashed away in the guitar fills and sullenly atonal solos when the band isn't thrashing for all it is worth. Where Sea of Bones' contribution sounds like a single stretched-out slice of doom, Incarceration of Clairvoyance is more like five punk songs stuck together, blackened to the authors' taste.

On the level of sheer headbangability, I'd give the edge to Ramlord (it's hard to resist a nice crusty d-beat), but both bands deliver the goods here and pair very well.

Bandcamp: https://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-bones-ramlord-split.

Killing Songs :
Both
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