Review: Haapoja / Dephosphorus Split

Handshake Inc.

To me, splits are monumental and still very new - little brother to the mighty Compilation. I love the idea of two or three bands coming together, occasionally feeding off each others creativity and sharing their fan-base for crisscrossing exposure. Now, I'm no stranger to the stylistics of self-professed 'astrogrind' band Dephosphorus and its because of their presence on this split that I'm now experiencing Haapoja as well.

There really isn't any surprise when it comes to fact that america really sucks at Grind - I've yet to find a single American Grind-band that can touch upon acts like Dephosphorus - or even Warfuck. The stark difference being that there is a lot of sharp imagery and painstaking detail that seems to go into foreign grind - fusing of genres that just barely happens over in the red, white, and blue. And, though Haapoja considers themselves more part of the Hardcore genre then anything, there is no denying that they share a similar grind-feel as Dephosphorus. The entire split moves at a breakneck pace as well, featuring more rhythmic Crust-like songs then I've ever heard from Dephosphorus - a bit more digestible but not enough to steer towards more mainstream Grind/Hardcore bands, the rawer elements are still ever-present. Haapoja shares the same rhythmic approach, however, their vocals seem to follow a non-linear approach compared to the music played. Its almost as if the band couldn't stand to pull themselves too far out of obscurity and vouched to hold onto the elements which made them unique. 

For the speed and ferocity of this split, everything seems to be in order. Both Haapoja and Dephosphorus have such tearing intensity that its hard to imagine a more perfect match-up. Sure, things tend to be a little more composed and a lot less raw then previous efforts from, at least, Dephosphorus but the slight change is definitely nothing for the worst. Still prepare for a complete assault on your ear-drums, this time accompanied by Haapoja.