This is a second split release by this rather active Russian progressive, heavy and a little bit psychedelic fuzz rock/metal band The Grand Astoria. First came the split with the excellent US Christmas a couple of years ago, and now they have teamed up with Montenegro from Argentina. Both bands deliver one long track for this CD.
The Grand Astoria's "The Body Limit" was recorded in Tallinn, Estonia in February this year. It starts off with some tranquil, gentle guitar and bird-song, and grows slowly when some slow drums, quiet female singing, bass and lead guitar gets added. The mood remains the same although the track gets more intense until around the 12-minute-marker when it turns into pure metal and Kamille, the guitarist/singer starts to sing. Then we get weird, some more psychedelic instrumental passages with delayed guitar. The next vocal part reminds me a bit of some of the progressive metal bands like Queensrÿche, so if you're into that kind of stuff you'll like it. Then the track gets faster for a while, but then we get some more atmospheric stuff and the almost 30-minute track ends in a beautiful, mellow way. This is a rather massive, varied track, that's all I can say. Phew!
I got to admit that I've not previously heard about the band Montenegro from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The label Sick-o-Delic Records is also from Buenos Aires, and through their web site I was able to find some information, and what little I could understand the band was formed in 2009 and has released one full-length on the the label before this split. It's good to see that there is at least some kind of psych/stoner underground in Buenos Aires at the moment. The 18:40-long track "El Matadero" starts off with slow, fuzzy blues jamming, and in three minutes we get some laid-back vocals in Spanish. I like the chilled-out mood of this song, and the psych guitar work is pretty good as well. Before the ten-minute-marker the boys start to rock out in heavy stoner rock manner, and then some more progressive, experimental stuff follows. There's a weird, acoustic, almost classical part with some spoken word (the speech of Juan Manuel de Rosas on his rise to power at Buenos Aires government, 8th December 1829). I'm not sure how well that fits in, but then we get some fast and heavy blasting until the end. I'd like to know what this song is about, but at least matadero means a slaughterhouse and I guess the track is based on an important short story with the same name written by Esteban Echeverría in 1839 but not published before 1871 (according to Wikipedia). A pretty cool track, anyway.