I don't think I'd actually heard Excel's Split Image LP before this... like a lot of the Suicidal Tendencies-related stuff, the original is quite rare and doesn't really turn up all too often on here on the east coast, so I'd never had a chance to check it out. Really, it's about what I expected it to be... solid, hardcore-influenced (mainly in the vocals) 80s thrash that could fit in just as well with the whole bay Area scene as it does with the Suicidal camp, though without the blazing solos one typically associates with that genre. Split Image is a solid thrash album, but the real gem here is the bonus material... I know Southern Lord often goes overboard in adding extras (honestly I'm not even sure I listened to all three of those 12"s that came with the Bl'ast! Power of Expression reissue, and I'm probably not alone on that), but with this record the bonus disc is probably going to get a lot more play than the main event. The bonus disc is an earlier demo session that's a lot more hardcore than Splitting Image... the riffs aren't quite so thrashy, but the drumming is still fast and manic, and the whole thing is recorded extremely well. It sounds much more in line with metallic early 80s hardcore bands like Attitude Adjustment and Septic Death, and it's honestly just as good as those... I'm surprised Pusmort didn't snatch these guys up back then. If you like both of those styles then this luxurious package is a no-brainer, but if you're more of a thrash metal person or a hardcore person there's more than enough here to make it worth your well... a worthy excavation for sure.
Black Vinyl Version