Review Summary: Messiah's Rotten Perish is a testament to the creativity and obscurity of the 90's death metal scene. An excellent mixture of beauty and brutality.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
The relevance of death metal in the 90's is a hard topic to grasp today. The major players in the genre consisted of many US bands that are still enjoyed (read : worshipped) today. Death, Morbid Angel and Deicide among others are names often associated with the "popular" opinion of the genre. Taking nothing away from those bands, one simply needs to scratch the surface of the era to discover excellent releases by relatively obscure bands. Digging even deeper than that we find the 92 release from Messiah - Rotten Parish.
A 4 piece band out of Switzerland Messiah started releasing music in the early 80's. Fans of black and thrash metal should seek out these releases. Possessed of excellent technical skills, if not laughably bad songwriting they were an above-average genre band for the time period. In the 90's the band took a decidedly more traditional death metal approach with their release Choir of Horrors (also highly recommended). In 1992 they released their concept album Rotten Perish. The first track is laden with ambiance and a spoken word introduction to the album delivered by what sounds like a 10 or 11 year old child. After this initial burst of "what the hell did I get myself into?" the album spawns forth some epic, brutal 90's technical death-thrash.
The first 6 songs blend the oppressiveness of death metal (the bass is a standout on this one, really nicely done) and the precision of thrash seamlessly. The vocals are... fitting. Not so much of a singing style but approaching spoken word (think Necrophagia mixed with Obituary). The track "Dreams of Eschaton" marks a change in this release. Musically it takes a turn from classic death and thrash to incorporate some groove elements. It is a noticeable difference, and fits in with the theme of the concept. Still, it is a marked enough change to keep the album from becoming stagnant.
Rotten Perish is a gem of the obscure 90's metal scene, and way ahead of its time.