Viral Load & Putrid Pile Viral Load & Putrid Pile

In their continuing efforts to unearth little-known underground bands ― or make themselves feel better after years of selling out to bigger metal trends, depending on which opinion you believe ― Relapse excretes another bowel-evacuating split, this time spotlighting one-man death metal acts headed by guys named Shawn. Texas-based metalhead Shawn Whitaker puts his other band, Insidious Decrepancy, on pause to revive Viral Load and record three new songs. He clearly worships Mortician, with his expertly programmed drum machine, in "Dog Food Lube" and his deep-throated growls are devilishly modulated in "Methlab Machete Massacre." Whitaker even steps out with a genuine rock solo during the Obituary-esque "Cod Piece Face." The second Shawn (Wisconsin's Shaun LaCann,e of the better-produced Putrid Pile) steps into the fray with "The Satisfying Dead," a mash-up between Cannibal Corpse and Regurgitate. LaCanne's drum machine goes kick-drum crazy but believably so in "A Fitting End" and "Lifeless… Not Useless" features LaCanne's dual vocals, the higher register garbled like Deicide's Glen Benton and the lower, bathtub-drain growl akin to Incantation's John McEntee. With all songs around three minutes, this split never gets too long in the tooth. Let's hope that Relapse continues to remember their roots in the future. (Relapse)