Split records are some kind of a weird thing. I’ll elaborate. Back then, bands used to record split albums in order to split the bill of studio, printing, pressing, and other costs. That’s why they’re called split records. Ok, that, and because the bands split the record. That was true when albums were physical only now that most albums are digital there’s no need to split the production costs of a CD. Maybe the studio costs but I guess there’s not many reasons to do so. Well, whatever.
Interestingly, split albums are getting common again. I guess it’s the second or third this year we have the honor of reviewing. I don’t how we had in these six years but I’m sure they’re not more than half a dozen.
Here we have Dungeon Crawl & Throne of Iron “The Side Quest” with two pretty different bands though both deeply rooted on 1980’s Heavy Metal. Dungeon Crawl that perform that proto Extreme Metal from the 1980’s highly based on Speed Metal and Throne of Iron with a more Old School heavy Metal grip also with two feet on Speed Metal. “The Side Quest” is split with four tracks to Dungeon Crawl and three to Throne of Iron. Dungeon Crawl’s tracks are faster and heavier with that early Slayer or Destruction grip though the two minute intro “Minions of a Dark Master” reminds a lot Stranger Things theme. That means the track doesn’t anything at all to do with the rest of the album. Tracks also include that frentic drumming that characterizes the albums of that epoch. Vocals are raspy near the guttural and guitar solos are somewhat melodic. My dear child of the night listening the album will have the impression of listening to a 1980’s real thing. “Critical Failure” is even faster than the previous tracks with that early Death Metal grip of Obituary or Death. Throne of Iron have a more melodic grip with longer tracks. What really caught my attention was the hollow sound of the drums. I don’t if the band wanted that way – doubtful – or it was the post production. The fact is that the drums got this hollow sound al over the album. It’s such a pity because the music in here is very good and with personality and a very neat instrumental even though the hollow drums sound. The musical contrast between the two bands works just fine here. Of course, as it was usual back then, there is a some Iron Maiden pitch here as in the guitars of “Curse of the Lightningmancer” but that’s pretty natural. Good to notice that grand finale “Tricksters” has a fierce Thrash grip.
“The Side Quest” is a split album that really honors its 1980’s peers.
Dungeon Crawl & Throne of Iron “The Side Quest” will be released on December 16th via Wise Blood Records.
- Dungeon Crawl – Minions of a Dark Master
- Dungeon Crawl – Where the Coin Falls
- Dungeon Crawl – Critical Failure
- Dungeon Crawl – Chained to the Grave
- Throne of Iron – Gods of Liquid Gold
- Throne of Iron – Curse of the Lightningmancer
- Throne of Iron – Tricksters
Watch “Gods of Liquid Gold” official lyric video here: