A Polish / US split here I believe. Not that I’m familiar with either band, mind, but let’s have a listen.

Poles Loathfinder are first. ‘Soil Of The Starving’ opens up and rages with some ferocious, chaotic death metal howling right in your teeth. It then begins to dip into doom waters, a rise and fall, slightly discordant riff. It’s not bad, some good supporting vocals but really doesn’t go anywhere. ‘XXIX’ however begins with a tectonic slow pace, a weird mood piece with low rattling vocals that slowly, surely and effectively winds the tension. Its genuinely creepy and the insistence of a little deep and dark melody keeps pulling it from being simply ambient. ‘The Ugliest Crown’ seeps from this, rolling into crushing, slow doom/death. The vocals, deep and dark are superb as they seem to breathe out the words in black clouds. There’s a good feel of Khanate around this, particularly in the sparse midsection. Clearly more comfortable at the slower pace where their ideas can breathe, it’s definitely intriguing. 7/10.

Druj are from Anchorage and with ‘Thee Insatiable Fever’ we are in a more lo-fi blackened doom/death territory. The production is thin, the drums sharp and the cavernous vocals squirm away from the basic but effective riff as though trying to find another room. It gradually picks up speed, beginning a brain punching attack of repetition and belligerence that has its charm. ‘Divulge’ is more pacy, rolling into a good nasty grind before pulling back and forming into a crushing, slow riff. There’s some neat kick drumming here, and the riff has a little more meat on it. Something about it kind of reminds me of a more sedate Sturmtiger, somehow. It has to be said it kind of gets under my skin too kike a nasty black scabbed rash. Yeah not bad. 7/10.

Honours even, but two distinct sounds from two new-ish bands. A pretty darned good showcase for death fans who like it blackened and sloooooow.

(7/10 Gizmo)