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I'm not too big of a grind fan, but this album sure made me one. The album opens up with The Effects, the song starts with feedback and evolves into a slower crunchy groove. Parts like these are all over the album, which is really nice touch that breaks up the monotonous blasturbation that most modern grind bands adhere to. Rotten Sound really take Grindcore back to its roots, with crust punk. These influences can be heard in nearly every single song on this cd. Very energetic and makes you want to get up and beat the hell out of something.
The guitar tone is very dirty and crusty which adds a lot to the guitar riffs and trem parts, it gives it that whole wall of noise quality to it. The guitar playing is very well done and original on this album, there's even a guitar solo in Blind. There are a lot of little surprises in between the blasts that make for awesome grooves and pounding riffs, and sometimes even atmospheric lead parts. The last song on the entire album is a very down-tempo crushing song that is almost vaguely Doom inspired. The song Decimate even has an archetypical breakdown in it (something I really don't like) but this band managed to hold my attention and it actually fit the song very well.
The vocals on this album are great, to say the least. Q has a great quality to his voice and shows some real versatality in his vocal execution. He can do the traditional Hardcore-esque vocals that are decently high and are very powerful sounding, almost black metal reminiscent shrieks and even low death growls that are very prominent on the very last song on the album Trust. His vocal patterns are even catchy. Drumming is very tight, but still manages to sound dirty and natural. Ville is a great drummer, that is album to work well with blasts and is very innovative with normal beats. In the song Praise The Lord, when the song slows down there's a very cool battle drum beat. Overall a very good release for fans of Grind, Crust, Death Metal, and even some Hardcore fans might enjoy this.
Well, this was not what I was expecting when I picked up this album.
Having been introduced to Rotten Sound through their previous EP, 'Consume To Contaminate', leading me on to their earlier albums, I'd given myself the misaprehension that this album would be somewhat of a follow-on similar sounding album to the preceding EP.
Whilst it is in a noticeable way similar to the previous EP, it also adds in a lot more elements into the mix somewhat leading to a slightly clusterfuck impression at first.
By 'clusterfuck' I mean that while there is still that defined unique CRUNCH to the guitars and rapid-fire mortar sound to the drums with which Rotten Sound are almost synonymous, there's also a large amount more punk/crust influences seeping into this album.
It really is harder to sum this package up into one big generic summary,unlike previous RS releases, as there is just that much difference between the tracks.
We're not talking Akercocke-style STARK differences, they are undeniably from the same band, they just sound more like a collection of songs rather than the more gelatinous effect of previous work.
In a vain attempt to draw some form of rigid conclusion from the last few paragraphs, I'd say that whilst it's probably not an absolutely ESSENTIAL purchase nor landmark release, it nevertheless is one that pretty much any self-respecting death metal or grind fan would not object to having in their collection at all.
Brutal, punishing, crunching guitars... just not very memorable songs.
After the release of Consume to Contaminate, I was worried about the future of Rotten Sound. That EP was just not something you would expect after such a masterpice like Exit. It was heavier, the sound was a little uncomfortable and the mix was sort of weird. So my hopes on Cycles weren't really high.
Boy was I in for a treat.
The first song got me really worried. Lasting almost two minutes, the first half has a very heavy melody, which made me think this would be the pace of this whole album. But somewhat half the way through the song, it turned into the Rotten Sound I fell in love with.
The songs still retain that extreme and chaotic but paradoxically melodic and simply organic aura Rotten Sound managed to develop in Murderworks and improved in Exit. However this album has a new feeling in it. It's darker, it's more insane, and being Rotten Sound, that's saying something.
I was worried about the new drummer, but even though I don't think any drummer can compare themselves with Kai, this fellow Latva did not let me down in (almost) any way. His drumming is not as technical (that's why "almost"), but it's damn fast most of the time, and knows how and when to add a little detail here and then to make a very entertaining drumming. They should have recorded the drumming a little higher in the mix.
The guitars are not as drowned as in the Consume to Contaminate EP, which is a relief, but are considerably more thick than in the Exit album. Melody wise it's basically the same Rotten Sound that it has been for a few years of superb Grind, but they do tend to be more precise, more easy to follow, I hope you get what I mean.
Although there are more heavy/slow moments in this album than in the previous Full Lenght, it doesn't really interrupt the natural fast flow of the album, so it's not a problem or a pain in the ass at any time (Although the general tempo of the whole album IS a tad slower than previous works).
Vocals have gotten thicker and I don't hear that high pitched scream contrasting with the regular vocals, which is kind of a shame, but gives the album a new darker feeling, or at least that's how I felt it.
All in all I am in no way disappointed with this album, which could easilly be my third favourite, after Exit and Murderworks. Or maybe it's a tie between the last two. Yeah, probably that's it.