from AQUARIUS RECORDS :
Never heard Fistula before, but they definitely prove themselves, at least on this here split, to be one of the few bands that can stand up to the ferocity and absolute fucking musical anvil to the skull that is Burmese. After two releases on our own Andee's tUMULt label, Burmese hook up with fellow noisemakers Fistula for an absolute sonic orgy of untold proportions of AQ pal Adam's Crucial Blast label. The ten Burmese tracks show them moving even further away from conventional grind / sludge into a world all their own, Whitehouse collides with Drop Dead, Throbbing Gristle with Masonna on lead vocals and Corrupted as back up band. This is pure fucking noise. Moments of grinding fury do peek through, as do little bursts of rhythmic mayhem and occasional electronic overload, but overall this is just two drummers and two bassists stuffing your head in a blender with a speaker at the bottom. Fistula respond with four slightly longer tracks of metallic crush. The first an abstract dirge with the lead vocals replaced by a hacking cough. Like an underground sludge "Sweet Leaf". But the other three tracks prove Fistula to be masters of the BIG RIFF. Supercharged drone / dirge metal, huge and galloping, pummelling and fucking MASSIVE.
Review from DEAD ANGEL :
Now this is heaviness. The enraged ape on the cover is an accurate indication of the sonic destruction happening on the disc. First up is Burmese, who come raging out of the corner like a wounded gorilla on PCP, savagely swiping at everything in their path and setting it on fire. Bits and pieces here and there can be traced back to Whitehouse, Merzbow, probably half the Cold Meat Industry roster, Burning Witch, and probably one of the purest strains imaginable of the deep, cellular-level sickness that infects some musicians when provided with large, catastrophically-loud instruments and lots of amplifiers, causing them to inflict great distress to all witnesses involved when they start seeing if they can break the equipment by playing noise at full volume. Burmese don't really play "songs" in the traditional sense of what most people think of as songs (although, as with Arab on Radar -- a band they sometimes resemble --- there's probably a lot more structure under that sonic mung than is readily apparent); rather, they have highly public temper tantrums at a volume sufficient to raise the dead. In China. The ten tracks they offer up here are very much what you'd expect: Brief bolts of sonic violence designed to irritate, annoy, and possibly offend you. Are you man enough to take the ride, mister? I'll bet this band regularly endures fun scenes with promoters who really didn't understand what was going to happen when the band took the stage....
The rest of the disc is four long (well, longer than the Burmese tracks, anyway) and grotesque blurts of grim sonic filth from Fistula, who win major bonus points with me right off for the completely insane "Green Lung". Man, I know all about that... "The Basilisk" is pretty hep too -- big riffs, big drums, big everything, plus it's got a groove Alice Cooper would have approved of back in the day, only a million times heavier. "Caterpillar" is my idea of a good time; big drums and rumbling bass to smother an endless riff and some dude screeching like he's getting ready to beat his dog or something. I'm not so sold on "Powers That Be" -- I think Fistula sound better when they're a lot less speedy -- but it's nice that they threw it in for the benefit of people who can't quite hang with nonstop slow-motion crawl. I like them a lot better when they're creeping into Corrupted territory.
This isn't just heavy, it's like having your skull exploded from the inside. First Burmese surround you and pummel you wildly from all sides until you're dizzy, then Fistula wades in and starts slowly but systematically clubbing you into the concrete. The pain, gringo, it is enormous -- but if you've partaken enough of the Ronrico 151, si, si, the sound your ears make as your skull reverberates from the repeated blows sounds most soothing...
Review from LOLLIPOP Magazine by Craig Regala :
A-FUCKING-hoy! Crucial Blast weighs in with their bipolar disorder firmly fixed on a destroyed rock
prone noise band (Burmese) and a noise fed rock band, (Fistula). The Burmese tracks veer, (look it up, I do mean veer)
from Japanese 90's noise into a narrowly chopped up Boredoms/Naked City skree into a grindcore band made
of farm animals heard over a phasing out short wave whilst trying to replicate their favorite 4 seconds of
Terrorizers "world downfall", into some sorta Napalm Death does Half Japanese blat. IF you're ok with 10
squeaky commercial size fans partial submerged in a silt milkshake, early Earache recs. style grind, The
Skingrafts labels "howler" moments the far free rock side of Mainliner or Fushitsusha heck-yer in!
The Fistula section is a full on tangle between grinding doom-dope gargle, (think Bongzilla) and that
dirt head trudge-core that's gotta be the Stonerrock version crust/puke metal. It's great. All their
records I've heard are at least decent and generally good with good songs, and proper recording. What the
hell; if their name began with a silent H you could put'm between Helvis and Hell Child and as it is maybe
you'll be lucky enough to catch live with Rue, Teeth of the Hydra or Rwake, certainly a decent crew to get
with, enh? Oh yeah Jackie says "mention Sourvein esp. that bangleaf song". So I did. The good people
at crucialblast.net will provide you with this item and plenty of others if you desire.
Review from COSMIC LAVA webzine :
Crucial Blast are experts in exploring extreme musical areas and so this split-release is definitely not for the timid. BURMESE are cerebral for sure, but physical (as in hard hitting) too. They affect you emotionally, morally, even metaphysically. I bet, no two people hear the same thing when listening to BURMESE, which makes reviewing their ten short songs especially difficult. In the world of 4/4 beats and 1-4-5 chord progressions, you can give the listener something tangible to grap onto, but BURMESE left that world long ago. They're masters of deconstruction, and although they've interwoven a few rhythmical patterns in some of the here included sonic splinters, this music is free from any conventional framework. While listening again and again to their material, my conclusion is that this has more in common with free jazz, Whitehouse industrial stuff, or John Zorn's extreme avantgarde aesthetics. Sludge titans FISTULA are the other uncomfortable band of this tasteful split release, and they attack the listener with four brandnew ultra-heavy cuts. During the last years, this group had build a strong underground following, due to convincing live shows and outstanding albums, split 7"'s etc. and they are one of my favourite bands in the so-called sludge genre. "Green Lung" is a nice example of what will happen if you smoke 1st class weed, while recording a song, and it shows that the guys of FISTULA have a good taste in humour. "Powers That Be" and "The Basilisk" are two of the best tracks I've ever heard from this group. Both cuts include pulverizing up-tempo parts in best thrash metal tradition, without losing their crushing '16 tons' heaviness. The last song here "Caterpillar" starts very friendly before it changes into a Grief-ish monolith that could've been an outtake from the "Torso" album. Keep your fingers cross that the mighty FISTULA can continue their path of high-quality brutality with the next releases. I think, a lot of you will have their problems with BURMESE, but if you see listening to music as some sort of extreme sport this disc could be your next challenge. Well, I dig it!
Review from AVERSIONLINE webzine :
Burmese opens this fucker up with 10 tracks that basically amount to straight noise. Some of it's raw, harsh electronic noise; some of it's guitar, bass, vocals, and drums recorded with what sounds like one mic in an intensely loud room. The average track runs less than a minute, and they blaze through the first four cuts in a combined two minutes that's quite a blur. Then "Sweet Fucking Mouth/Living Wage" is a little more spacious and lets the vocals play a larger role so there are some actual, tangible riffs involved, though it's still a chaotic and noisy venture that doesn't feel like a "song". I honestly really don't care for this kind of stuff at all because it's annoying, emotionless, and I feel like anyone could do it. The electronic noise tracks are a little stronger just because if I want noise I want noise, not a bunch of random instrument bashing, but even the true noisescapes are too short and underdeveloped to have much substance. "White Suicide" is probably the best piece because distorted bass drives the track and despite a frantic ending the first half of the song is actually pretty forceful, leading into a solid noise ending with some spoken vocals and crispy distorted hums in "Into It". The first eight tracks are basically crap, though. Fistula then takes the reigns for the greater part of the disc with four songs of insane sludge. Beginning with "Green Lung", one of the most detuned songs I've ever heard, where even the drums sound loose and detuned in somehow. I don't know how these dudes even keep their strings on their instruments, because it's all just churning, rumbling chords. The "vocals" in the track consist of nothing but coughing and the sounds of lighting up and smoking, which is fucking cheesy and stupid, but whatever. "Powers That Be", however, follows by breaking into some faster riffing that has a crossover hardcore vibe, of course blended with a core of sludgy midpaced riffing and scathing vocal screams. Original? Nah, but they're pretty god damn good at what they do, so they blow Burmese out of the water on this one. "The Basilisk" continues with a lot of memorable guitar parts that prove that these dudes write great fuckin' riffs ...pretty standard for the genre, but they're excellent writers, and that makes a huge difference in how memorable these songs are. There's just a lot of energy to the tempo changes, and they use repetition well too. "Caterpillar" being a good example of that, acting as one of the most consistent and traditionally styled tracks of the bunch, so far as the whole "stoner rock" related genre goes. Their recording is fine. Nice and dry, with the ripping screams holding their own with the guitars, and tons of gritty textures over all of the distortion. Turning up the bass wouldn't hurt, or at least making it more noticeable, but they're good to go otherwise. There's not much to the layout. No lyrics are included, so you get one tiny band photo and credits for each act, and then some images of apes and some architectural devices, but that's really about it. I'm not that into it, but it looks okay and gets the job done, so that's that. What can I say? The Fistula songs are great, but Burmese is weak. Skip the first 10 minutes of this thing and then get to it. I'd definitely like to hear a full-length out of Fistula. No doubt.
Review from HOUSE OF SMUT webzine :
Underground metal has proven to be a strong ally for the noisemongers and soundscapers of the world. With this split release between Burmese and Fistula, sludge doom does its part in fostering that bridge. Surprisingly, these two schools of thought compliment eachother well here. Even more shocking is this disc's high level of listenability. Noise merchants Burmese are first up with their ten tracks. These pieces all have a couple things going for them that make the experience easier to digest. One, these clips all possess a clearer/more immediate sense of structure than other works in sound manipulation, blackened speed guitar runs very noticable on "White Suicide." Also, you're being assulted here in very short doses--most of these offerings are in the two minute and less range. Screamed sludge vox rises during "Sweet Fucking Mouth/Living Wage," while "You Feel Good To Me" ranks as the band's most punk. For fans of the metallic power electronics of Masonna or folks who normally might not be able to stomach this style period. Closing things out on a more straightforward note are Fistula. These guys start a bit shakey on "Green Lung," a killer, hypnotic megadoom riff in the vein of Burning Witch marred by cliche bong/lighter/coughing sounds in the background. Still, they rebound nicely with "Powers That Be," blistering speed riffs giving way to a groovier doom metal section. "The Basilisk" proves best in show, with a riff which seems deeply inspired by Venom's "At War With Satan." You don't always find a sense of roots as strong in this particular wing of doom metal's castle, so it's a very impressive surprise. Most recommended to fans of Khanate and the aforementioned Burning Witch. All in all, Burmese and Fistula manage to combine for a pretty worthwhile release. Burmese are a cut above practically everyone else in their chosen field, while it's thrilling to speculate what Fistula would be capable of producing on a full-length album. A nice introduction to both bands and a possible foreshadowing of great things to come.