I was born in Indianapolis, and spent many a childhood year in the great state of Indiana. However, I would hardly consider myself qualified to speak with the same passion about Indiana bands as some of my fellow Vault writers that are Hoosiers through and through. Ask me about some local New England bands and I’ll gush on, but Indy coverage is typically and rightfully left to Indy people here at Indy Metal Vault. But every so often, you hit a sweet spot where every other writer is too slammed to take another review, and that Indiana band gets passed on to that Boston guy.
Now I’ll admit straight away, I’d never even heard of Ecferus until taking on this review. That’s cool, I like to go in fresh. I’ll also admit that I was so excited to see what my birth state had to offer in terms of black metal that I really only cared about hearing their second half of this split. That’s not cool. Don’t go into anything released by I, Voidhanger less than fully enthusiastic, folks.
The split starts with an eleven-and-a-half minute song by The Wakedead Gathering. No, it’s not a young adult fiction book series, it’s a one-man band from Columbus, Ohio, and he kicks ass. I began to care about his contribution to the split literally seconds into it. Deep growls, ominous drum rolls, truly terrifying and lumbering riffs – it’s all here for your morbid pleasure. The song speeds up about halfway through and then goes off in several different, yet unified directions from there. What The Wakedead Gathering is able to pack into eleven minutes is actually pretty gnarly, and a good warm-up for the second half of the split.
Ecferus contribute three songs, all under five minutes. There is a bit more of a “direct to the jugular” approach with these songs, opting rather to strike hard and strike fast with no buildup. The vocals are piercing, the leads are sinister, and every tempo has enough gas behind it to lead the angels on a high-speed chase for at least two straight weeks. Ecferus also have a knack for breaking into that “bouncy” tempo/beat that I will ALWAYS appreciate. If I knew time signatures better, I could explain it to you, but just know that your foot will be tappin’.
I, Voidhanger would have to try really hard to disappoint. This split is a lot of evil fun, and well worth a listen or two if you’re looking to build your ‘USBM doesn’t suck’ repertoire. One-man bands are where it’s at right now, and the fly-over states are beginning to feel like the perfect breeding ground.