Review Summary: The soundtrack to every murder, act of cannibalism, and violent death.
Every musician has a goal that they try to accomplish through their music. Some bands are supposed to make you think. Their music is complex and meticulously planned, and their lyrics are insightful and poignant. Other bands just want to write the soundtrack to every brutal murder, act of cannibalism, and gruesome death ever. The underground death metal band, Deteriorate, falls into the latter category.
Rotting In Hell
was released in 1993, when bands such as Atheist, Death, and Cynic began to become more and more progressive. They eschewed the traditional lyrical themes of violence and death, and they began to utilize melody, which was very rare in the genre. Deteriorate made no such efforts to inject death metal with progressiveness, and instead made one of the heaviest albums ever recorded. Every moment in between the cacophony of strings, pained screams, and ambient noise that begins the album and the discordant pizzicato violins that end it is filled with crushing riffs, pounding drumming, and harsh, unearthly screams of anger.
The most unconventional aspect of Rotting In Hell
is the vocals. Usually, a raspy vocal style is used, somewhat reminiscent of the style used on Nocturnus’ The Key
, but more corrosive and biting. However, the singer also frequently utilizes a more traditional, low death metal growl to add variety to the music.
Rotting In Hell
is also a very refreshing album. Many contemporary death metal bands, such as Waking the Cadaver, trade catchiness for heaviness, resulting in a muddled mess of bland and uninspired riffs coupled with laughably pathetic vocals that frequently imitate a dying sow. Deteriorate reminds the listener that the same heaviness can be achieved without sacrificing songwriting and adding in thousands of unnecessary breakdowns and chugs. Instead, the brutality of Deteriorate’s music stems from the intensity of the performance and the skillfulness of the writing. The listener feels all of the anger, horror, and bloodlust that the music is supposed to convey due to the energy of the musicians and the quality of the expertly-written riffs.
Critics of the genre could say that this is a rather formulaic and uninventive death metal album. True, the album does not tread new ground and is not original in the least. However, it doesn’t try to be a musical revelation. It tries to be a quick burst of grisly, bloody, and uncontrollable heaviness, and this it does without fail. Those looking for some grotesque and ghastly fun will not be disappointed in the least.