(Level Plane)

01. Skin from Skull
02. Rise with the Tide
03. Changing Addictions
04. Scum Also Rises
05. Twilight's Last Gleaming
06. Scapegoat Parade

RATING: 7.5/10

It's two different styles on one righteously metallic CD. Phoenix's LANDMINE MARATHON follows up its "Wounded" full-length with three crispy critters. Following close behind is an old-school thrash metal project called SCARECROW from guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey (EXHUMED, DEKAPITATOR, REPULSION), drummer Will Carroll (OLD GRANDAD, VICIOUS RUMORS, CUTHROATS 9, ULYSSES SIREN), bassist Damien Sisson (ARC, POINTS NORTH), and guitarist Bud Burke (EXHUMED, DYING IN YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP).

The three LANDMINE MARATHON tracks ("Skin from Skull", "Rise with the Tide", and "Changing Addictions") continue the BOLT THROWER-influenced scathing death metal of "Wounded". The acidic guitars and Grace Perry's caustic growls are but two of the attributes that continue to make LANDMINE MARATHON a group to watch. Good songwriting coupled with a vicious delivery go a long way toward making these tracks ones you'll return to again and again.

In a scene where retro thrashers are currently ruling the roost, the difference with SCARECROW's three contributions to the split is a sound that has much more to do with "Ride the Lightning" or "…And Justice for All"-era METALLICA than EXODUS or KREATOR. Clearly sung vocals and memorable melodies match up splendidly with the loose, open feel of the instruments. The guitar solos are the kind that one remembers almost as clearly as the vocal patterns, just like it was done back in the day. "Twilight's Last Gleaming" is notable for its marching cadence, not unlike what METALLICA accomplished with "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Largely mid-paced and with plenty of opportunities to really get into the groove of it all, the resulting collection of tunes will have you looking forward to an EP or full-length from the band.

In a nutshell, this is one split that works as a quick fix from bands that are dissimilar in style yet go quite well together. Definitely one of the cooler split releases I've heard.


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