Band: MORBID FUNERAL / LEGION
Country: Costa Rica / Ecuador
Title: Occult Warfare
Label: Visceral Vomit Records / Sanatorio Distro
Style: Black Metal
Initially released in 2007 on cassette tape, this South American Black Metal split now gets the CD treatment by Visceral Vomit and Sanatorio.
Morbid Funeral from Costa Rica are opening this split with 4 original tracks, studio-recorded, and a rehearsal cover of Mayhem's Deathcrush, or at least that's what they claim it to be, I couldn't listen more than 10 seconds from it, that's how shitty recorded it is. The 2 tracks of their own have a raw but good production, nothing impressive but you get what the band is all about. Mid-tempo Black Metal with a primitive touch to it and occasional outbursts of fast paced Raw Black Metal and even some good Thrash Metal guitar leads to enrich the sound. The last 2 tracks are bonuses for this release, with different recording quality. Fair sounding but not impressive.
Legion from Ecuador was a less experienced band when this split was first released although they were also formed back in the '90's. Their part of the split is made of 6 tracks, 2 more than the original release, like in Morbid Funeral's case. The production is rawer, like the whole thing was recorded in one take (yes, execution mistakes are also present; few and little, but still there) and then only a minimal mix was in place before delivering it to the world. Legion's music is mid-tempo to fast paced Black Metal with melodic inserts for the most part, except for the bonus tracks, one of them being straight-forward Black Metal and the other a semi-acoustic guitar plus keyboard intermezzo-like track. Their music reminds me of the South-East Asian Black Metal, based on somehow generic guitar riffs, subtle keyboards in the background (not all the time though) and razor-sharp vocals that are far from being evil or menacing, they are just screams, unfortunately not on my taste at all.
Bottom line we have here two bands that apparently are still active (not sure for Legion though...), and probably among the oldest and most respected in their countries' Black Metal scene, so a true piece of South American Extreme Metal memorabilia I'd say.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6.5/10 6/10