I usually don’t care for splits. In fact, I am pretty sure this is the first split I ever reviewed. Splits seem to be cries for love from potential labels with the songs so great so as to encourage seeking the bands’ regular material only to be dissapointed because they saved the best for splits. Splits tend to have no internal continuity, with songs seemingly unrelated one to another with bands so stylistically different from each other so as to question the point of a split. Not so "Nameless". "Nameless" is an excellent melodic doom/death record in the great Peaceville three tradition that should not be overlooked by any serious fan of the genre, although neither of the two bands even try to reinvent the wheel. "Nameless" stands unique among splits because it sounds as if it was recorded as a regular album by one band.

The fact that the third and sixth track are the bands covering each other certainly adds to this impression that Doomcult and Talsur are generally stylistically similar. Both, too, are one man constructs, so, essentially, Doomcult and Talsur are Dutchman J. G. Arts and Russian man Talsur (no real name shall be given) dueling via their respective projects. As previously mentioned, My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost inspire these excellent six anthems of loneliness, despair and hopelessness. The material is pretty even throughout and each tune has ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, acoustic to electric, piano to forte in spades, and, of course, plenty of monumental riffs and supermelodic leads. My favorite happens to be Doomcult covering Talsur’s "Waters Of Loss" from the "Tormented" LP. The original is a great piece of work but Doomcult takes it to a new level emphasizing the tonnage of rhythm riffs and melodic anguish of leads, turning it into a classic. Last time I heard a cover this outclassing the original was Sepultura turning New Model Army’s "The Hunt" into the best track on "Chaos A.D."

If not so much in sound, the two projects do differ somewhat in output and lyrical focus. While Doomcult released two albums since inception (2014): "End All Life" and more creatively and uniquely named "Life Must End" (whereby it stands to reason to anticipate the third installment to be named "Mandatory Cessation Of Planetary Existence" or some such), Talsur, who formed in 2015, has managed to date to spawn no less but FIVE full lengths including two in 2016 alone. Lyrically, Doomcult, if not downright Satanic or Luciferian, is decidedly anti-Christian, what with "Nails" a twisted take on Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, the words of Luke 23:46, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" addressing not God but His chief Adversary, the Devil. Talsur, on the other hand, tends to be more nuanced and veiled, similarly to Opeth’s Mikael Äkerfeld, and if he shares J.G. Arts’ sentiment, you can’t immediately derive that from his poetry. There are also significant differences in vocals – while J.G Arts’ are Matt Pike (High On Fire) drinking Conrad Thomas "Cronos" Lant (Venom) under the table, Talsur’s are exclusively clean croons of Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) depressing the life out of Peter "O’Steele" Ratajczyk (Type O’Negative). Other than vocals, Talsur seems to be more angel and demons similar to Insomnium or Opeth, while Doomcult pours more consistent melodicism in their craft with multiple melodies throughout a single track but in the same general vein for every song. No matter where different, though, J.G. and Talsur both give it all they’ve got in terms of vocal and multinstrumental execution.

Why not 6/6? Two reasons. As I already hinted at in the opening paragraph, for all the excellence of songwriting and execution there is nothing here remotely original or innovative as far as genre is concerned. They have simply taken the classic sound and made it heavier better, sadder, creepier and more effective. Secondly, I am not convinced by Talsur covering Doomcult on "Wrath" (from "End All Life EP") , part because Talsur, the man, is so much more effective as a clean vocalist than a growler, part because the original track itself is simple, average and barely melodic.

Doomcult And Talsur’s "Nameless" is an excellent example of melodic death/doom done right, and, even if it does not bring anything new to the genre table, I recommend it to the Peaceville three lovers and all who treasure good melodic death/doom. This release made me reconsider shunning splits in the future and I ask myself how many of the good ones I missed because of my silly preconceived notions.