Review Summary: You can almost say that Rotten Death is a death metal album that doesn't like death metal.
Sweden's death metal scene really took off when Entombed
released their epic masterpiece Left Hand Path
. Many bands followed Entombed
and most of them had a similar musical sound. Growls, down-tuned gritty and grinding guitars plus monotone but forceful drumming. Dismember
became the first wave of Swedish death metal. But suddenly melodic death metal came to the scene and bands like In Flames
and Dark Tranquillity
quickly stole the stage light from the established none-melodic bands. The old-school scene started to fade away. Only these veteran bands were around but in recent days more and more bands has started to pop up and they are all taking more and more influences from the old days. Tormented
is one such band but this time things had changed a bit. Tormented
does not sound like your typical old-school band. The band has most of the classic death metal ingredients like booming drums, buzzing and grinding guitars and violent lyrics but what about the growls?
was created by members of Edge Of Sanity
actually sounds more like a ''Horror''-metal band rather than death metal due to the odd vocals. It is the vocals that really separate this band from the rest of the pack. Their debut album Rotten Death
delivers intense old-school death metal which is also violent and heavy at the same time. The sound production is very cool actually. It isn't super-polished as most modern albums. This album was apparently recorded live in a studio and you can hear that there is a small echo-effect that you can't hear on other albums.
is special because of the vocals, not the music. The vocalist doesn't growl or scream. His vocals should belong in a thrash metal band or some other type of genre. He has an aggressive and powerful kind of raspy vocal style that is quite effective but he rarely attempts to growl or scream. He just sound incredibly pissed off and evil and this creates a completely different sound compared to the traditional death metal recipe. The actual music is pretty damn solid though. Even if the members are lacking in technical expertise and musical variation they still manage to this type of eerie and haunting music. Even here the band stands out a bit because they don't unleash hailstorms of groovy riffs or tremolo pickings. Everything is based around un-muted power-chord riffing and tremolo picking on the heavier strings. This guitar performance creates a massive and messy wall of sound. Almost every track has some sort memorable riff, atmospheric moment or extremely creepy tremolo pickings. Although, the lyrics are just what you would expect. Death, death and death. The band follows the classic trend of using lyrics based on stuff that belongs in the realms of death. They did one cool thing with the lyrics though. Listen to the end of ''Reversed Funeral'' where the band mentions some of Sweden's most important death metal bands. It's like that the band did a small homage to those bands.
''Dismember'' the ''Entombed''
''Unleashed'' from the ''Grave''
''Merciless'' they rip the ''Unanimated'' in raw lust
Even if this album reeks of good stuff you can't get away with the fact that the album is pretty damn repetitive and one-dimensional in almost every aspect. The vocals are one-dimensional, the drummer seems to know only one to three types of drumming and the guitars rarely goes technical. The solos are quite technical and twisted but most of them are performed by guest musicians. But who gives a **** when the music is kicking ***! You can almost say that Rotten Death
is a death metal album that doesn't like death metal, but you can't label the music anything other than death metal. Purists of death metal will either enjoy this because of its ''experimental'' sound or hate it because of the vocals. This album might not appeal to everyone, not even to death metal fans. Don't expect to hear something that sounds like Dismember
, Morbid Angel
. This album has to be approached with an open mind but hopefully you will enjoy it.
-- Tomb Of Corpses The best song hands down! The song has some really creepy melodies and lyrics. It has some of the best riffs and vocals as well.
-- Blood Of The Undead Cheesy lyrics but song is one of the fastest and the vocals are perfect.
-- Drowning In Decaying Flesh The band goes brutal in this track. Cool yucky lyrics and brutal guitars, great track.