posted on 11/2011 By:
So far, the old-school death metal revival hasn’t focused on authenticity. This openness is unusual in underground metal—witness the ongoing legitimacy interrogation of every nascent black metal band. But for OSDM, you’re golden as long as you’ve got that tone.
If death metal folks were more concerned with bona fides, Tormented would have them in spades. This band formed in 2008, and Rotten Death was originally released via Iron Fist in 2009. The timing seems right for bandwagon-jumping. but two of Tormented’s members played in the classic Swedish DM group Edge of Sanity. Their cred, whatever it’s worth, is bulletproof.
Rotten Death itself is a bona fide of sorts. This album is among the most accurate textural reproductions of the original Stockholm death metal sound that I’ve heard over the last five years. It is not hardcore played with a buzzing Sunlight tone, nor is it a cleaned-up modernization like Entrails or Bloodbath. The guitars sport buzz and fuzz in equal measure. They’re huge, but unfocused and almost incomprehensible at times. And frontman “Dread” Axelsson howls rather than growls, in the true Petrov/Kärki tradition.
Other than that, there isn’t too much to say about Rotten Death. Most of the songs are rigid thrashers; they’re punk-fueled in the Hellhammer sense. Axelsson spews a lot of choruses that you can shout along to in the moment, but will probably forget afterwards. The guitars rumble and bash. The drums go tooka-tooka-tooka. The bass exists (or doesn’t; I can’t tell). And half an hour later, it’s over.
I like Rotten Death. But I like it the way that I like street pizza. It satisfies a momentary craving cheaply and efficiently. For the most part, I don’t want my metal to be like pizza. I want mindblowing, 9-course culinary art extravaganzas. But sometimes pizza is pretty good. And as far as Stockholm DM goes, this album is as authentic and true-to-life as a Sicilian slice from a no-name joint in Brooklyn. Tasty, in a rotten-flesh kind of way.
Register to post comments.