Review: Sarin/Vegas, Split (Self-Released, 2019)

This freshly-released four-song, 10-minute split 7" sees Sarin (Chicago, IL) paired with international band of mystery Vegas. I'm fairly certain I've checked out Sarin before, but this is definitely the first time I've paid close enough attention. "Depression" opens with a sizzling whir that gradually builds into a distorted churn of unexpectedly powerviolence-leaning hardcore with hints of crusty grind accoutrements. Black metal influences then seep to the fore via fast-paced tremolo picking and buried dissonance, eventually decaying into a crispy harsh noise outro that carries over to introduce "Possession"—which kind of teeters between a hectic, stabbing style of metalcore and thicker, churning rhythms that could be argued to reveal an underlying Integrity type of influence. As this paragraph would imply, it's quite a diverse few minutes, and commendably executed in a manner that doesn't feel disjointed in the least.

Vegas continues a bountiful stretch of output with the high-speed hardcore/punk of "Alkahest" and grooving midpaced pulse of "Fractured." To-the-point at least on the surface, both are atypically straightforward and memorable (particularly "Alkahest") for the group from a structural standpoint—though not out of place—and made their own through trademark claustrophobic recording techniques and reverberating layers of mystery...

The presentation looks excellent all around—Sarin's portion of the sleeve bearing artwork by Dwid Hellion—with a semi-gloss finish outside, matte finish inside. No lyrics are included, but the inner sleeve displays additional visuals and Vegas provides a rather surprising/revealing statement regarding some degree of its creative aims.

The vinyl is available in two variants: sleek transparent blue, or an absolutely gorgeous half 'n' half where the Sarin side is sort of a greenish-gray and the Vegas side is bright pink (with varying degrees of slight crossover). It appears that only the blue is up for sale at the moment, and while unsure of the pressing info, I'd guess there are no more than 100 - 150 of each color. If you're interested in a physical copy (and you should be), it's likely better to grab one now than potentially pay through the nose later!

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