The latest excursion from the increasingly diverse Holy Terror Records is this intriguing split 7" between Vermapyre and Aichi, Japan's Parasite. I believe this is the first recorded output from Vermapyre (though there are rumors of a cassette demo), and all three tracks offer a completely different approach. "March of Thee Vermapyrical Legions" is an extremely raw, distant black metal track that sounds like it could have been recorded live from the back of the room in which it was being performed—complete with eerie, discordant riffing and tortured, wailing vocals that may not even be bothering with lyrics. Unlike most black metal, however, the piece lasts but a mere 1:35!? "Thee Cold Invocation" then offers a little under two minutes of abstract, pulsing bass and sparse dark ambient noise textures alongside bits of faintly whispered and largely indiscernible female vocals. And then to cap it all off, "Return of the Sorcerer" takes a completely unexpected turn towards straightforward, bashing hardcore/punk in sort of a Japanese/D-beat fusion (shockingly catchy song, too). I'm left with absolutely no idea of what to expect from Vermapyre's future outings, but I'm damn sure curious! Parasite then follows with two tracks of rugged hardcore/punk (or, as they call it, "metalpunk") that seems to be heavily inspired by the legendary G.I.S.M.—both in terms of the gruff vocal snarls and their galloping rhythmic churns combined with fluid dual guitar melodies. This split marks my first exposure to their work (which includes a few preceding demos, splits, and EP's), and I can definitely see why they seem to have a decent following out there. Good stuff.