As my colleague here recently said, he “simply doesn’t have time for more generic death metal.” Well, I’m sure a lot of people feel that way. Those people, however, are lame. Definitely not the kind of folks you want with you on vacation. I mean, for starters, they’re probably listening to some experimental, cosmic black metal with a cover taken straight from book 34 of a 598 book Sci-Fi series. Those are the people you take golfing with your 74-year old father. You don’t hang with them for death metal, cheap beer and free, open, loving escapades involving group sex. Those people stay home and fuck with their crew neck pocket tee on. Lights off, socks on.
But if you’re totally awesome, you know there’s a thing called RIFFS, and holy fuck does Rotted have them by the dozen. Tracks like “…and Now I Rot” start out chaotic with quickly picked notes leading to double bass. It’s a buildup. A crescendo. Vocals join the frenzied pace which ebbs before compacting itself to an efficient, straight-forward death metal sound you might recognize from the annals of death metal history. Then the minute-twenty mark hits and Rotted slams you in the chest with a thick, pestilent riff supported by pragmatic drumming and guttural vocals.
The album takes a marked turn towards Überriffville (exit 47 on the turnpike) with “Diseased.” Like a drill burrowing into the depths of a volcano, Rotted use a classic approach building layers upon layers in the track yet always returning to that one, unforgettable, infectious, head banging riff. They even close out the track with a stripped down, single guitar version of that riff. Making “Diseased” an absolute must hear.
Plenty of people are going to be dicks about stuff like this. They’re going to ask why Rotted is necessary when they sound so much like early Grave you can just go listen to early Grave. Well, death metal freaks have listened to early Grave. A whole bunch. And quite frankly, I’d like to hear more of it. But since Grave isn’t around to do it, we have bands like Rotted keeping early 90s death metal torch alive, igniting the eternal flame with riffs and riffs and riffs. Oh, and they even close out the album with a ripping cover of Grave’s “Day of Mourning.”