The popularity of the 5" format is starting to get quite a bit of a pain in the ass and on the wallet too (I am looking at you specifically Suffering Mind!) , by the time you have put the material on and sat yourself down its time to turn it over and lets not even get started on its cost to effect ratio, in short the novelty value of being a 5" wears out thin and you either have to offer some extra dimensional incentive (that Noothgrush / Supression 5" that comes with a puzzle is the sort of out the box creativity I like) or have to be sure as hell that the ~2 minute run time available is enough for the bands to induce traumatic injury on the listener. Thankfully the Unholy Grave Nak'ay split is one positive example where this scaled down format of operation isn't of detriment by its lack of available length, to both bands concepts such as progression and rhythmic development are words used by people whose skulls they crack open with their stone axes.
First up is Unholy Grave who grace us with an exclusive track; Intolerance to which it should come as no surprise its delivery is nothing short of their trademark erratic thrash tinged mincecore , mad hatter Takaho does his usual deployment of lunatic/animalistic screams in accompany with their standard set of booming blast beats and catchy as hell bouncing stringwork. Production values are in their natural habitat of DIY recordings, but have substantially more rigor and density to them compared to their last record I checked out. However the best feature of this track has to be the chorus, its lyrics solely consisting of the word No said repetitively about a dozen times in a sort of rythmic fashion, its strangely addictive and I can't really justify why, yet I find myself singing along to it with much joy and often put the needle back to the beginning rather than turn over the split just to have another cheeky listen. A seriously addictive tune.
There will be a point in time when it will likely be easier to list the bands which haven't done a split with Unholy Grave than the ones which have, at such a time bands will simply be referred to by a number denoting their place in the Unholy Grave split chronology; to which todays review features number 81: Nak'ay (that's right, I manually counted every prior split release Unholy Grave have listed on discogs). If the name Nak'ay is a reference to something (thinking something Japanese, maybe even Unholy Grave related) the reference has got past me; either as a result of the obscurity of the name or the fact that Nak'ay's 2 minutes of mayhem is like receiving a series of blows to the head from a tire iron from a rather unsavory set of gentlemen. I don't want to paint them as a legacy band, but if you believe in reincarnation then Nak'ay are the second coming of the recently deceased Cellgraft, the timelines don't quite match up, but I am ashamed to say that this is the first time I have heard them and they occupy that exact same niche of barbaric hostility once occupied by Cellgraft. They manage to squeeze no less than 5 tracks into their armoury including one savage cover of Assucks Feasts of War. Their 2 minute curb-stomping tantrum is a crash course into urban warfare, as a blitz of concrete tearing thuds, agonizing screams and piercing screeches all mangle against one another and induce irreversible psychological trauma, and dare I say it that Nak'ay just thrive off this bloodshed and carnage as if caught in some all consuming desire to destroy.