Okay, so what would happen if two of the most brutal metal bands in France where to join forces and forge an unholy alliance of musical evil? Well, this split, which features black metallers Temple of Baal and brutal death metallers Ritualization, gives you what might well be the answer to that question.
The Temple of Baal tracks are full on aggressive and brutal black metal tracks combining black metal style riffing with death metal brutality and extremely fast blastbeating to boot - all wrapped in the harsh sound of a bass that comes across even more distorted than the guitars. There is some more death metal styled riffing and the vocals also lean more towards death grunts than black metal shrieks. And I think it is this death metal edge that gives the impression of the Temple of Baal tracks being much more brutal than what one might by used to in modern day black metal. However, true to the black metal ethos, the production is relatively raw and goes well with the music.
The production on the Ritualization tracks is not too polished either, but it leans more towards the old school Morrisound-based sound associated with death metal in the 90s. Thus the sound is brutal, but still allows the listener to hear what is going on in the songs, and that does great justice to the musicians in Ritualization, who are extremely good at what they do. The Ritualization tracks (of which one is a Mortem-cover) are themselves quite old school brutal death metal in the vein of Suffocation (less technical, perhaps, but they make up for that in brutality and the speed of blastbeating). Both of the original Ritualization tracks contain many riffs, passages, and changes - most of which is in the old school death metal style that helped define the genre back in the day. There definitely are a lot of goodies for the death metal fan here (the deep guttural growls are the icing on the cake).
Both parts of the split are incredibly enjoyable listens, and The Vision of Fading Mankind is a bona fide exemplar of a good split. The two parts are equal in quality, but different in sound and expression (but both operate within the brutal end of the metal music spectrum), and thus the whole split is varied and interesting. Fans of death metal and black metal should be able to enjoy both the Teple of Baal and the Ritualization parts of this magnificent split.
Temple of Baal
1. Ordeals Of The Void
2. When Mankind Falls
3. Slaves To The Beast
4. Heresy Forever Enthroned
5. Ave Dominus
6. The Second Crowning
7. Devil Speaks in Tongue (Mortem Cover)