The popular sayings according to which unity is strength sometimes prove true but — apparently — there are exceptions, especially for metalheads, unlikely, very often introverted beings and (rightly) not very inclined to social relations. This could explain why the splits are donuts that don’t always come out with the hole, although it may seem strange to imagine actual interactions between Loathfinder, located in Krakow, and Druj, coming from the lovely town of Anchorage, Alaska. Yet, the preconditions for Aspects Of Oblation to be an interesting work were, net of the fact that both bands had already found space among these pages: the Poles in 2017 with the excellent debut EP The Great Tired Ones and the Americans with the musically valid, albeit conceptually confusing, debut album, entitled Chants To Irkalla.
In this new record the first three tracks are Loathfinder‘s prerogrative: we are still talking about doom, however declined differently than the album we discussed in the past. Sludge influences are still present, but decidedly less marked, while the general trend seems to indicate a more noticeable preference for sulphurous death metal infiltrations and sparse influences closer to black metal, evident in the furious attack of “Soil Of The Starving”. Overall, the compositions are valid, relatively varied within them and full of smoky and oppressive atmospheres (see the instrumental “XXIX”); in the same way, the pachydermal gait of “Ugliest Crown” is particularly enjoyable, with its heavy and monolithic death-doom which then evolves reaching lapses of post- territories. The performance is full-bodied, but it is slightly discontinuous, leaving the impression that there is no common thread and that the tracks, in fact, are completely disconnected from each other.
Unfortunately, the problem becomes (even) more thorny in Druj‘s regard who, after all, seem to have very very few cartridges to shoot. Their death-doom, while overlooking the unacceptable production, is not played or composed badly, on the contrary; the real problem is an absolute lack of ideas. The total twelve minutes including “Thee Insatiable Fever” and “Divulge” are completely monotonous, nothing less and nothing more. Even considering that we are talking about a genre that does not shine for vitality and joy, the band’s performance is really disappointing: of course, there is some interesting moment, but nothing that does not seem stolen from some Asphyx or Incantation album. Not very biting and a lethargic songwriting, adjective that, if for certain doom could be positive, this time designates a simply soporific act.
It is therefore difficult to identify an ideal target for Aspects Of Oblation, a globally insipid split, in which it seems that neither of the two bands involved adequately shows their best skills. A weak record, which leaves no trace and seems to have been assembled by putting together the pieces discarded in the recording sessions of their other works. Should curiosity arise to deepen both Loathfinder and Druj, this is certainly not an ideal business card: the oblation was probably paid to the wrong divinity.