Maximum RocknRoll (#305, October 2008)
I have to say that you would be hard-pressed to name two finer examples of crushing melodic crust than the bands featured on this split. Asheville’s Kakistocracy espouses anarchist and environmentalist ideals without treading in the steps of countless other political hardcore bands. Instead, the lyrics are personal and more powerful than cheap sloganeering. They also get extra points for vocals that are as brutal and raging as their music – no easy feat. Let’s not forget Nux Vomica, who hits the same target but comes from a more metallic place; not surprising since it’s ex- members of Wake Up On Fire. They succeed in the quiet, pretty refrain that turns into seething, unbridled rage that most bands in this genre try to pull of but don’t. Good stuff.
Razorcake (#46, October/November 2008)
Two of the best names in state-side melodic crust come together for one epic battle of a split 7”. I’d like to think that this 7” was so crushing on both sides that there could be no survivors because in typical crust fashion everyone would be annihilated, but I’m going to have to go with Nux Vomica as the victors. Both bands definitely put their all into it, but the charging tempo changes and fierce back up vocals throughout their side of the 7” assured them a small, yet influential, lead to triumph.
Give Me Back (#5, summer 2009)
Kakistocracy is one of those bands that I have always heard about, but for some reason I have never listened to. Musically, this is dirty and ugly sounding hardcore in the vein of His Hero Is Gone, but much less crust-metal sounding than HHIG and with a bit more melody. There are only two songs here and they are nice mid tempo blasts. Flip it over and we have Nux Vomica who I have never heard until now. This starts with heavy, fuzzed-out bass and slow, plodding drums that kick along until it picks up into a nice death crawl. Then it launches into a mid-paced chugga chugga attack, complete with crazed vocals and a nice d-beat bridge. This too is similar to HHIG or Tragedy. Sometimes this shit is so played out, but both of these bands play this style very well.
-Kirk MK Ultra