Emissaries of Syn/MxAxMxA/Psycho – Split Album (No Bread Records, Lickerish Records, Let the Bastards Grind Records, Link2Wales Records and Pyrrhic Defeat Records )

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Ladies and Gentleman for your listening pleasure a loose confederation of labels present three bands weighing in with a total of fourteen tracks. It’s a three way dance. Let get it on. I love a split E.P/album. You get a collective of bands, all representing the very best of themselves with none of the filler. In this case we have 3 punk/grind bands, from vastly different backgrounds all united under the banner of heavy music.

 First over the top are Emissaries of Syn from North Wales, with their pummelling brand of grind n’ roll. Fixed Point In Time, perhaps represents the punkier side to the band with its UK82 meets Napalm Death feel to it, which is helped further by the no borders message of the track, but after that we are in full on old school Discharge territory with the likes Mechanical Harm and Invested Interest. Wales once again shows its credentials for producing great punk bands.

Next up to bat is Moscow mob MxAxMxA who bypass the punk side of things entirely and instead concentrate on delivering absolute brutality. This pissed off bunch have honed that early grind sound which the likes of Nasum and Brutal Truth were so good at and have presented five astonishingly heavy tracks, which are impossible to choose between. There is the odd delve into black metal territory, for instance on the opener Schastliviy Fermer which sits perfectly with their blast beat ridden noise and just adds to the overall evil of their sound.

I would not want to follow MxAxMxA, either in the live arena or on record, but somebody has to and that honour has befallen Psycho. Psycho hail from the hallowed hardcore ground of Boston and although they play grind, there’s no doubting that those influences have crept in and are reminiscent of Drop Dead at their horrible best. Its blink and you’ll miss it stuff, but if you want your head stomped in for 22 seconds then check out I’m Going Nuts for size. Turns out Psycho were more than up to the challenge. Great stuff

If this was a fight, then the only winner would be the listener as all three bands have brought their “A game” to the table. A fantastic album, showing that good punk and grind has no borders and reaches worldwide. If you are looking for the ideal soundtrack to these testing times we find ourselves in, then this could be the answer to your prayers… Chris Andrews

Get the split here

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