In the disgustingly unending quest for all-that-is-technologically-superior in life, today’s general human population tends to steer away from the cassette tapes when it comes to music. “Tapes are a dead format.”, they’ll say. Often, the suggestion of downloading can be heard muttered in conversation or read in an internet post by some oblivious kid who owns absolutely no vinyl or compact discs…and has never even seen (or listened to) a cassette recording in person. To those unfortunate bastards, I say…It’s your loss! In my eyes, there is so much irrefutable power and artistic substance embodied in a physical copy of the newest recording from a band you love. When the visual artwork, liner notes, and the almighty music itself are combined with the fist-in-your-face, DIY ethic of the underground, a simple mp3 file pales as almost garbage in comparison. It’s like a hamburger without all the fixins, a horror flick without blood n‘ guts, a bottle without the damn beer. It could be said that, at present time, the mere presence of a cassette is an extreme rarity. At one time in my life, I had nearly five-hundred cassette tapes in my possession. Through a few years, many either fell victim to viciously defective tape decks, or were worn out from excessive play. At this time, I have only two. The new split release from Indianapolis’ very own blackened crust killing machine, Kata Sarka, and Ft. Wayne’s grinding black metal trio, Nak’ay being one of them, and rightfully fucking so.

If you’re at all familiar with these two misanthropic Midwest hordes, then consider this split as a hastily administered dose of kill-’em-all crusty grind in one little pill. Those who are very much into the previously-mentioned bells n’ whistles of allegedly “dead” formats will praise the abyss in light of the fact that this tape is pretty much dripping with old school underground sentiment and a screeching, punks-definitely-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude.

Nak’ay rips through their side of this monstrosity with the lethality of a satanically-fueled Panzer squad high on the fumes of the burning dead. Channeling the band’s live energy and delivered with the instantaneous shock of a demon-friendly car crash, numbers like “Godz of Swine”, “Mediapocalypse”, and “Rotting Away” will pass you fucking by if you’re not paying attention. Appropriately enough, Nak’ay closes out their portion with a face-stomping rendition of the Napalm Death bruiser, “Instinct Of Survival”…appropriate because that’s exactly what you’ll need if you want to get through this slaughter alive.

That being said, switching over to the Kata Sarka side may very well be the listener’s best chance at bracing for further impact. Here, these Circle City slayers crust it up in true fashion, starting off with the title track from the band‘s The Great Dereliction demo. Throwing the masses to the mercy of newer numbers like “Perpetual Stupidity Machine” was a great way for the band to stoke the funeral pyre of any mainstream garbage you may find in your line of sight, let me tell you! Between A.V.9’s crusted-over guitar assault and the blackened hell-scream vocal approach of Y.S., Kata Sarka have the bases covered when it comes to increasing the body count. Closing out this bestial offering is “Being Alive is Like Being on Fire”, which sets ablaze any misconception one may have that this band is okay with taking prisoners.

In the end, what we have here, potentially long-story-made-a-little-shorter,  is a duo of diabolical Midwestern devastators with their crosshairs set firmly in the “kill” position, aimed to get the job done in around twenty grinding minutes altogether. As far as recent split releases are concerned, the pairing featured on this one is spot-on…brilliant. Consider that your warning. The uninitiated should wear a damn helmet.

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