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For all the split releases which ravage the black metal underground, it is especially nice to see an underground death metal split. Hear me out: split releases are a great, brief tool through which one can discover new music (in this case, I was unfamiliar with Civerous). For some odd reason splits are largely ignored in the press world, so it's nice to sit back and listen to what is essentially a couple of EPs under one large, conceptual umbrella.

In the case of Heralds of Affliction (which also features a sweet T-shirt), we are presented with two California death metal bands: Stygian Obsession (which features members of At Dusk) and Civerous (who I believe features a member of Aylwin, but I could be mistaken).

Civerous's side is what one might call "dank" -- it reeks and drips forth with a gross character, largely thanks to "Lord Foul"'s disgusting vocal performance. Though they take from black metal at times, this is death metal through and through. This is thick, corrosive music.

Taking from the more "cavernous" end of the genre is Stygian Obsession. Though not as dense and putrid as Civerous, Stygian Obsession's strength comes through with their sense of atmosphere. With four songs of hollow, horrifying death metal, Stygian Obsession closes out this split on a completely different footing than their splitmate, which makes for an interesting pairing. Listen to an exclusive stream of Heralds of Affliction below.

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Heralds of Affliction releases May 5th on Pacific Threnodies.

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