Rotten Sound – Exit – 4.5/5
This is a genre I never thought I’d find myself becoming interested in. The most ‘extreme’ end of the spectrum, filled with tech death wankery, Brutal Death Metal’s lack of consideration for that little nuisance called melody, shockingly this isn’t like that. Taking ‘hardcore punk’ into the new age in the form of grindcore, bringing with it all the pent up rage and energy and unleashing in a torrent of unrelenting drums and chaotic guitar work, it takes from Death Metal the precision of each instrument, the lyrical themes and – perhaps most importantly – the high production standard. This is anything but sloppy; everything is precisely performed, lending an immensely powerful energy that comes across.
Another common argument – and one that I’ve often agreed with – is that it’s aggressive, sure, buts its dreadfully simplistic, and hence only got a limited shelf life, but listening as an album this again isn’t the case. Viewed as individual tracks, much of the guitars in particular could be seen to get monotonous, if not for the fact the tracks tend to only last 90 seconds anyway, and then we snap out into something completely fresh, and often differently paced, lending a rather technical feel, constantly shaking things up and preventing it from becoming repetitive.
A special commendation to the drumming which often succeeds in taking precedence over the other instrumentation; performing at a blistering pace he proves readily capable of a superb amount of variation, critically allowing the music to feel fresh and original without stagnating. The guitars too aren’t without their melodies, pulsating attacks relent into slower paced grooves (the ending for ‘soil’ actually reminds me of the main line in this dance track, oddly) without feeling out of place.
In fact, even the ‘weak link’ in terms of all the musicians, the vocals, perform pretty well, with less variation in pitch than I would perhaps like he constantly maintains a front of energy, struggling for dominance over the rest of the instrumentation. This isn’t the sort of music you’d listen to for mind blowing creativity or technicality; that was never the intention. Instead it provides half an hour of precise, blistering paced, energetic and chaotic rage, and by comparison going from this back to anything else feels sluggish and unenthused. No, it’s not the most inventive, but in terms of capturing raw energy on an album, this is pretty damn impressive.
Highlights: Sell Your Soul, Soil, Slay