FILTHEATER/ISHIMURA,Rites of Contempt and Disgust (2011, Speed Ritual)
This is at least the third time we’ve seen a skull by this artist. He also did SKULL143 and SKULL396, and this one is every bit as good as those. I love the detailed linework that somehow conveys real hopelessness and despair. No mean feat! The pile of handmeat is of course great (especially how the fingers suggest spider legs), but for me, the real clincher to this piece is the half-closed third eye. That eye is so jaded that no depravity is sufficiently titilating anymore, and I daresay that heavy-lidded ennui is perfectly suited to this particular collection of songs.
Filtheater scored a surprisingly good review from Friar Wagner when they last appeared in the Skullection, but an unconditional love for Nuclear Death is not a prerequisite in aspiring Friars, so while I owned Bride of Insect as a young man, and appreciated it for its shock value (which is still strong, I must admit), I never really liked their music, nor of course their sub-basement production values. And honestly, I don’t recall much about them, so I’m taking it on faith that Filtheater bear some similarity. I guess I can get behind the more angular and weird riffs on display here, but the blasty bits are a sloppy mess and the songs overall don’t seem to have any overarching raison d’etre. Grimy grindcore for horror crusties. And Ishimura is way, way fucking worse. Their drummer, when he blasts, seems to have no control over himself, and as such ends up seemingly out of time with the rest of the band, although maybe that’s by design. And for as shitty as Filtheater’s distorted growls are, the vocals on Ishimura’s half of this split are infinitely shittier. It’s also not clear to me that either band has a bass player, so thin and reedy is the sound on both halves. Friar Wagner can keep this stuff. What I need is some crappy 80s power metal. That’ll sort me out.
— Friar Johnsen