Elision / Ivan Drago Elision / Ivan Drago

Two of Germany’s brightest hopes in neo-hardcore offer three songs each on this action-packed, half-hour split EP. Opening with squealing pigs, "Things Are Far From OK” from Würzburg-based Elision jumps into a fairly typical hardcore tune with monotone vocals but features prog-ish riffs and Isis-like interludes. "It Was Cold That Night” speeds things up like Sick of It All and "Seize Control” pitches a Kiss It Goodbye change-up then blossoms later into a Botch-like dénouement. Named after Dolph Lundgren’s pugilist in Rocky IV, Berlin’s Ivan Drago operate closer to traditional mathcore with defined and practiced prog-like interplay in "You Are the Hero.” "Called the End” falls somewhere between the grit and grime of Harkonen and the less spastic jazz interludes of the Mass. "Five Days in the City of Sorrow” accentuates the spit and polish of the Dillinger Escape Plan with some rapid death metal influences and regulated, scratchy throat vocals. If both bands continue to grow and progress as touring outfits, their next records could easily approach, as one writer put it, Explosionsgefahr. (Silentstagnation)