The Rotted - Ad Nauseam
2011, Candlelight Records
Following searinlgy hot on the heels of last years Anarchogram EP, brit death metal quartet The Rotted's new album, Ad Nauseam, continues along the same lines as it's predecessor, dishing out fucking stellar death metal, painted with a brush dipped in punk attitude and sound as well as a murky hue of crustiness. These songs ooze a drunken youthful disregard and disdain for conformity and normalcy and flips the middle-finger at just about everybody ("fuck the left and fuck the right, stand straight or fall in line. No gods, no laws, no lies, until I die") even though these guys all must be in the thirties now. Which is impressive in itself because this type of attitude can often become just, well, sad, when done not quite right. But it's also impressive on another level, because that attitude and (a?)political fury was never really apparent in the band's past incarnation, Gorerotted. The band morphed into it's present form after Gorerotted dissolved due to "creative differences", that catch-all reason of seemingly all break-ups in the music industry. I actually didn't 'discover' Gorerotted until they were already gone, and even though I actually really enjoy their abrasive, dirty take on gore-death metal (which is a rare thing, since songs called Stab Me 'Til I Cum and Gagged, Shagged & Bodybagged, while funny, rarely inspire confidence in me, unless they're written by either Carcass or Exhumed) the music of Gorerotted doesn't even come close to The Rotted. I knew as soon as I heard the first few pummeling bars of opener Anarchogram Sun, with its stripped down, thunderous bassline, like some Bolth Thrower war machine, rolling over a heavy d-beat, that I would fucking love this album. And each song thereafter only solidified that first crucial impression. There are a few tracks that harkens back, somewhat, to the bands gorier more technical style as Gorerotted but they never fully commit to pure Carcass worship anywhere on the album, which, to me, benefits their style, as well as the album. Some of these songs are ridiculously catchy. And I mean this in a good way. At times The Rotted remind me of a less technical, brittish, version of Misery Index, with their equally punky attitude towards modern death metal. And while we're on the subejct of bands I'm reminded of while listening to Ad Nauseam, there is a huge Entombed vibe going on in Non Serviam, with its anthemic, fist pumping chorus of "I will not serve!" and chugging, very basic, very 'metal-y' chord progression. And it's perhaps that, at times, simplistic style that attracts me to The Rotted's music. Don't get me wrong, these guys are are highly proficient musicians and really talented song writers. And it's exactly that great ability to use simplicity to their advantage that, at least in part, make them such great song writers. Why complicate shit when there's no need? There's enough diversity here to sate anyone into this kind of drink- and drug-fuelled (they're brits, so of course substance abuse is heavily involved here: I mean they have songs called Drink Myself to Death and Angel Of Meth) sonic rebellion. Admittedly the brunt of the music is fast, often ultra fast, with hyper-speed tremolo picking and blast beats, but there's lots of variation and lots of different moods displayed on Ad Nauseam even though much of the fare has a real solid in your face 'fuck you' attitude to it. This is for fans of death metal and hardcore punk alike. Killer shit for real.