I feel bad about this review because it took me so many weeks to put this one online. The monotonic artwork wasn't motivating and it took me some time realising that this is a cover of a split cd. After receiving the cd some time ago every now and then I put it into my player, listened to it several times but after all I still felt like not knowing much about these two german bands. For sure I clearly remembered the specific posthardcore sound of both bands but I can't decide whether to like it or not. After additional attempts for reviewing purposes I have to admit that Kenzari's Middle Kata are pretty good while Nihilists still bore me. Although the info sheet compares both artists to nearly the same points of reference, Kenzari's Middle Kata und Nihilists aren't sounding that similar. Both bring along their own unique sound and thereby complement each other in a perfect way:
Kenzari's Middle Kata from Bavaria deliver us the first five songs. They start with two brawling singers meeting dodgy guitars in song number one called „golden age“. Soon it became clear that this is an energetic and complex sound. Definitely no background music. Although the entire sound is quite noisy, hectic and at first this chaos simply scared me, this band isn't about aimless roistering on instruments, they have an accurate, elaborated but chaotic sound. Later the sound drifts into more measured parts and reminds me here and there on the mood of mid-90ies emocore enhanced with more sophisticated guitars. Think of Ten Grand meets early JR Ewing. Every Level-Plane devotee should dig these recordings.
In contrast Nihilists from Braunschweig can't satisfy me. Their songs can also be tagged with the term posthardcore but their sound brings along obvious atmospheric post-rock influences. They follow with four long songs with repetitions und partly progressive rock enhancements. The Nihilists create a powerful sound with vocals and at times underlayed with noisy samples. Showing up many interesting approaches Nihilists don't satisfy all the way. Maybe it is a lack of experience in playing music that tries to harmonize so many influences. No song under five minutes. Think of Isis meets Baroness meets Ten Grand.