XXX Maniak / Coffins – Split CD/LP (2008)

I love it when weird, totally out of the blue splits happen with two bands that are in absolutely no way related musically. This phenomenally weird split 12” between American sicko porno grinder XXX Maniak and Japanese death-doom titans Coffins is no exception to that rule. I guess the only  link between these two bands that I can decipher is that XXX Maniak love their slow, death doom shit; their label released a fancy box set version of diSEMBOWELMENT’s “Transcendence…” and related demos a few years ago. This split though – nowhere else can I hear 20 blasts of insane grind followed by a fucking Cathedral cover.

3XM’s nauseating debut will always have a place in my heart (lol) but I think I prefer the super-refined sound here. Gone are most death metal or goregrind vocal influences (as is the old vocalist) which are replaced with a more straight-forward shouty, screamy approach, which is just lovely. Don’t think 3XM have changed up though; this is still hyperblasting drum machine grindcore littered with their trademark hilarious sampling. Despite the abundance of grinding hilarity on show here, my favourite track simply has to be “Smoking Sumerian Debris”, with its menacing riff and evil pitchshifted vocal.

Coffins are not a hyperblasting drum machine goregrind band. Coffins are a death metal influenced doom band from Japan. Coffins are slow; slower than the agonising death of a seagull smothered in spilt crude oil. Alongside their frankly excellent cover of Cathedral’s “Ebony Tears” is the single track, “The Cracks Of Doom”; a meandering, bludgeoning affair of sludgy, growly goodness.

To top off all this awesomeness, the LP release of this split uses the original Lou Rusconi artwork. Whilst it’s not quite as flashy as Visual Darkness’ CGI skeletal affair (VD did the artwork for the 3XM full length and for their split with Lymphatic Phlegm. The cover for this split is actually rather tame compared to these other disturbing creations) it’s still really, really twisted. I love Lou Rusconi’s stuff and I implore you to check it out! Eagle-eyed grinders will noticed that the second 3XM member has had his face erased from the cover art.