Two cult legends of Bay Area death metal duke it out on this early release from 625 back when they were still run out of Max Ward’s parents’ garage. I assume most of the metal readers are familiar with Exhumed by now. Exhumed was always at their best in the split seven-inch format for a few reasons, but this one is my favorite. Their two contributions were recorded with what some would call their best lineup, featuring future Impaled and Ghoul bassist Ross Sewage. “Blood and Alcohol” is short and to the point, while “Oozing Rectal Feast” is more drawn out and varied. Not that it matters, but the latter track was always my choice cut from this slab.
Those of you who are hearing Pale Existence for the first time may be impressed with what they have to offer. You may also be disappointed by the fact that they only have two songs to listen to. I know I have been dying to hear some of those cassette-only Pale Existence releases for the past decade-plus anyway. When I heard the term “blackened doom” used to describe a number of recent metal bands, I hoped that this is what people meant. Unfortunately, it was not the case. However, things can always change for the better. Pale Existence churns out two songs of blackened doomy death thrash that is comparable to anything else coming out of the metal underground, even now. They should have caught on amongst those who were starving for this kind of evil noise during the 1990s—long before many others did. Instead, a few members went on to play in Exhumed over time before their rhythm guitarist became the popular electronic DJ Bassnectar. Strange, but true. Whether the dubstep fanatics appreciate this record is not of my concern, but you should take a moment to acquaint yourself with this fine slab of gore if you have not already.