REVIEW: Keeper/Sea Bastard - 777/Astral Rebirth SPLIT

Splits are somewhat of a fascination to me, often I'm introduced to two separate bands that feed off each others energy or even sometime they contribute to one joint idea. In this case, both KEEPER and SEA BASTARD do both - though, I'm sure if these were two separate releases the content would be almost the same anyhow.

Both 777 and Astral Rebirth are Monolithic, thoroughly Blackened, Sludge/doom tracks; both are likely to pummel you by the time your surpass their extreme lengths (777 - 14 Minutes, Astral Rebirth - 20 Minutes). However, the two aren't entirely the same aside from their slow pounding nature. KEEPER kept their side of this split slightly cleaner, though 777 leans far closer to black metal than SEA BASTARD's contribution, while Astral Rebirth is sloppy and dirty as hell (not in the bad way). I find the differences welcoming as even splits I own sometimes bleed into each other - these don't. It makes everything feel like one cohesive thought or idea while still having the two bands retain their identities.

If I could pick a favorite of the two bands on this split, there is no doubt I'd go for KEEPER's '777'. There's just something so much darker about the marriage of black-metal and sludge - like OLD WITCH, it just adds a horrific atmosphere to everything. Its not even that SEA BASTARD's track is bad, I enjoyed it all the same - but sometimes I felt that perhaps the vocals on Astral Rebirth didn't really suit what was going on as much as KEEPER's did.

This Split is going to be released soon on vinyl via Medusa Crush Records and I highly suggest it for fans of all Blackened genres. Sadly, no stream yet but feel free to see what the band has to offer on other releases below.

KEEPER Stream: