Sickening and sickeningly limited-edition stuff housed in a clamshell DVD case, this pairing of like-minded USBM souls is a mixed bag – er, clamshell – for mine ears. First one up to deck is Pennsylvania’s Lonesummer, with four tracks that cross the river Jordan of black metal to go straight into the Holy Land of out-and-out noise. A total James Plotkin/PAC Rec screechfest, where instruments lose their nuance and power and I, the listener, lose control of my bowels. Some interesting sideways glances here into African tribal samples and New Age shimmers, but they just hang off the sides of the noise like hastily hung picture frames. Awful, and not entirely in a good way. Next up, Minnesota’s Marsh, a slightly more lo-fi proposition than Lonesummer and all the better for it, utilizing the D-beat and college rock influences that have made their way into black metal over the last couple of years. Rather than just opting for the go-to shoegazer bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, these guys are working through some of those Joy Division and Mission UK catharses as well. I figured that one out well before the Smiths cover at the end. Evocative for all the right reasons. My chief criticism of both bands is the malnourished length of nearly all of their songs, which makes them seem less like constructed songs than vignettes, ideas and insinuations. The split-rating verdict: 3 for the Lonesummer, 8 for the Marsh, which means, somewhat incongruously, that I look forward to hearing more from both projects soon.