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The members of this band claim they thought it was only right to change the name of Gorerotted when there were no members left, but I think it's because they didn't want to annoy the fans when they didn't feel like playing as technically. Gorerotted was pretty athletic music, I'll admit, but this is like laying down for a nap on a technical level. No slam on the music itself, of course, but it is quite a departure.
So a lot of people say this is basically a fusion of punk and death metal, which isn't quite true since the two genres are kept on fucking opposite sides of the planet from each other. What you have is a lot of death metal passages broken up by the occasional punk passage (Are they punk? What does punk sound like these days?). It's very simple: there's absolutely none of the crazy fucking technical tremolo riffs that practically defined Gorerotted. In their place is a weird sense of melody and some kind of interesting little moments on guitar (What's with the totally random arpeggiated parts on 'A Return To Insolence'?), but a lot of the pure viciousness of the previous incarnation of the band is gone.
Which is okay, I suppose. I mean, it's not like this move was completely unprecedented- those Cockney vocals which were on every fucking Gorerotted track weren't a coincidence- and I guess the results aren't too terrible. The worst thing I can say about this album is that its overall gimmick gets worn out within a few tracks and the rest becomes background noise just because there's simply not enough going on in these songs to really keep one's attention. The riffs are sort of catchy but not enough to carry themselves without more going on in the tracks themselves. I do like the overtly melodic moments where the band plays with textured chords and odd melodies, but they rarely dovetail well with the death metal on display. Chalk one up for improperly placed experimentation.
This is a fun album but it's totally nonessential and isn't really recommended for the crazy Gorerotted fans out there (all six of you). The character of the band has changed completely, and although it is neat to sort of hear what an updated spin on crossover sounds like, it doesn't have a ton of staying power. Still, fun is fun and I'll give them credit for interesting me a little bit.
Formed from the ashes of brutal death metal/goregrind band Gorerotted (and featuring Gian Pyres formerly of infamous extreme metallers Cradle Of Filth on guitar), The Rotted are one of the many awesome bands leading the new wave of British death metal into the third millennium. Unlike previous incarnation Gorerotted, who as their name suggested had lyrics typically involving gorey scenarios such as anally raping people using broken glass or chopping up significant others, the Rotted's lyrics and music deal with more realistic themes based on personal experience, including tales of violence on the London Underground, drunken anti-social behaviour and tour bus surfing escapades gone wrong, with more well crafted and mature songwriting to match.
As with Gorerotted, the lyrics are infused with a dark and twisted sense of humour which can sometimes camoflage the generally bleak and nihilistic message of the songs, as with title track "Get Dead Or Die Trying": "Disposed and cast aside I'm out on the street, no shirt on my back no shoes on my feet, I'm not the victim I'm the one that's to blame, never repented or tried to change, this is the life I've chosen it's who I am, a muttering imbecile with a spliff and a can". Vocalist Ben McCrow's performance is venomous and brutal as fuck while still remaining passionate and emotional, bitterly spitting out the words in a way which would not be possible with less personal lyrics, which makes you wonder why more extreme metal bands don't make an effort to write lyrics that are deeper and more relevant to the vocalist. The depth and intelligence of the lyrics make a refreshing change from the generic slaughterings that the majority of brutal death metal bands pay homage to.
The instrumental performance of the album fits the bleak and violent lyrics well, with the sick and dirty groove and brutality of death metal melded together with the relentless aggression and passion of hardcore punk to create a sound that defies categorisation - not pure death metal, but miles away from the thousands of soulless MySpace bands that usually combine death and hardcore music. As with Gorerotted, all the songs on the album are very catchy without compromising on heaviness, most songs sticking in the head after the first play of the album, but thanks to the maturing song writing skills of the band sound better with each subsequent spin (I've probably listened to this album over a hundred times since its release and it shows no sign of losing its appeal).
The whole album is very atmospheric while remaining very brutal, the mood of the music reflecting the tone of the lyrics at any given point in the song ("Angel of Meth" goes from pounding hardcore thrashings while describing the exhilaration of the bus surfing episode to a more sombre ending as the lyricist experiences a comedown and reflects on the self destructive idiocy of his behaviour), further exemplifying the maturity and depth of the album. All the musicians involved are clearly very skilled, but avoid overplaying or descending into the pretentious fretboard wankery of a lot of death metal bands. The album also features an instrumental interlude "A Brief Moment Of Regret", which unlike a lot of metal interlude songs actually sounds like it has a reason to be there to continue the flow of the album. so won't have the "Skip" button being pressed. A rendition of the theme from the (excellent) Danny Boyle horror film "28 Days Later" ends the album, the bleak and haunting music providing a perfect conclusion to what has come before. The production of "Get Dead Or Die Trying" is extremely good, being slick and clean without compromising the heaviness or soul of the music. All instruments can be heard clearly, including the bass which makes a nice change from a lot of modern production jobs.
"Get Dead Or Die Trying" is simply a fantastic and unique album, and if there is any justice will be revered as a classic a decade down the line. If you're a fan of metal or punk of any kind you will definitely not regret adding this to your collection. Here's hoping the next album from the Rotted continues this trend of excellence.
When a band change their style so much that it could be a completely different beast altogether, there is always a big core of fans who feel betrayed or that the band has sold out. When the British gorehounds GOREROTTED announced that their new album would sound much more mature than their previous work, they therefore found it fitting to abandon the "Gore" completely, instead re-surfacing as THE ROTTED. In their own words, this change of moniker felt very natural since their new material sounded like a "totally different band", and as it turned out this was not an exaggeration. It takes guts (hah!) to put a well-known product-name to rest, but it speaks integrity by the bucketload to make such a decision in order to respect their legacy, instead of twisting it to the dismay of old fans.
Although it's true that THE ROTTED no longer revel in childish orgies of guts and murder, their newfound Death Metal direction doesn't mean that their signature twisted sense of humor has been abandoned. One look at titles like "Angel Of Meth" and "It's Like There's A Party In My Mouth (And Everyone's Being Sick)", as well as the ridiculously funny album title, should bring consolation to fans that were afraid that the band's newfound "maturity" would be a dominating factor. There's only so much you can accomplish with a strictly Goregrind band, and it only seems natural that key members Ben McCrow (formerly known as Babysliced) and Tim Carley (formerly known as Fluffy Offalstench) would like to expand their musical horizons.
The lyrics to "Get Dead Or Die Trying" are, as mentioned, no longer about dismembering and eating people, but instead deal with personal experiences seen in retrospect, written with a small injection of regret. This might sound very tame on paper, but we're not talking about lyrics dealing with ex-girlfriends, since the guys from THE ROTTED seem to be no strangers to drunken mayhem and violence. This time around the music also has a Punk edge, with more focus placed on the riffs than on pure brutality. At times you're barely able to tell that some of these guys once recorded "Only Tools And Corpses", but this new direction is so well executed that only the hardest grind-nuts will be able to hate it. There is so much aggression and power in every song that it will blow you away, and the much cleaner production does a lot of good for the improved focus on musicianship. The only really odd songs of the bunch are the groovy "A Brief Moment Of Regret", which sounds like Ennio Morricone gone psychedelic metal, and the very well done cover of the theme from 28 Days Later. These tracks will probably make hardcore fans of GOREROTTED turn away in disgust, but for the open-minded listener it's very interesting to hear this level of variation from where you'd least expect it.
In closing, it's difficult not to respect THE ROTTED for acknowledging their drastic change of musical direction, and even though it will alienate the average narrow-minded gorehead, songs like "Nothin' But A Nosebleed" and "Get Dead Or Die Trying" (the latter is similar to "Heartwork"-era CARCASS) rock very hard indeed. GOREROTTED is dead, long live THE ROTTED!
(Online August 21, 2008)
Written for the Metal Observer
They may be The Rotted now, and not Gorerotted anymore, but the gore is definitely still there.
This album sees the British grindcore merchants growing up, changing attitudes and losing some of their famed sick sense of humor in favor of some serious upgrade in the quality of their music.
The riffs here are some of the best this band wrote, not just shredding but injecting a genuine sense of dread into the proceedings, there’s a slight touch of dark melody and a foreboding melancholy into this violent and hard-edged grindcore album.
The drum-work is staggering as well, the band’s new drummer is easily one of the best in the business, and it’s the combination of ultra-fast aggression with the added girth of quality riffs that makes this one so much more memorable than anything they ever did in the past. Another thing the band did different here is to inject a bit more of their punk roots, with songs such as “Angel Of Meth” being a fine nod to the originators of Grind – Napalm Death.
The album ends on a high-note with an instrumental piece that borrows the theme music from Brit horror flick 28 Days Later, yet another fine example of just how much more mature and disturbing the band is in this reincarnation.
“Nothing But A Nose Bleed”: memorable, catchy and brutal as hell, this one gave me a nosebleed.
“Fear And Loathing In London Town” :the band runs the gamut from fast and aggressive to slow and oppressive.
The world of grind these days can get stuck in a rut sometimes. From old-school grinders becoming stagnant, to technical grind bands displaying robotic, unemotional chops, to art-house bands tossing in bits of weirdness with no sense of purpose. The popularity of grind has brought some serious negatives to the genre.
How about song writing though? Lets be honest with ourselves, lots of music gets by on sheer intensity and force, not always with hooks or pure inspiration. This is where The Rotted breaks convention, by crafting engulfing ditties by defying grind convention, and taking old-school grind into new directions.
By grind standards, these songs are practically mammoths with song lengths averaging around the late 2 minute mark, to around 3:45. The bulk of the songs are built around old-school grind tradition of quick-n’-fun simple power chords running up and down the guitar neck supported by double-bass-drum pulsing and blast beats. While The Rotted do display light speed blasts on “Get Dead or die Trying”, they know when to hold the action back for a heavier crush. Between those old-school chords though are the moments of pure inspiration hidden within. Those extra guitar riffs come from all sorts of places, to thrash or death metal, or even the clean arpeggios of “A Brief Moment of Regret” that I just can’t seem to place. Pantera? Country? Southern rock? Surf rock? There’s quite a few other riffs in there that tend to defy convention without running off to the needless art-house territory or technical masturbation.
The lyrics (or at least the ones I was able to get a hold of) present something a slight bit different as well. The titles suggest some puns and variations on music and movie references that come off as hilarious, but some digging into those lyrics reveals a deeper sense of despair. Those lyrics often look back at the writers life in an almost regretful sense. Those lyrics only enhance a deeper sense to what looks simply fun and entertaining on the surface.
A deep and well-written grind album? Who would’ve thought that could be done...
Originally posted at www.waytooloud.com
First God made metal. But the metal was without gore or splatter, and so God said, “Let there be brutal death”, and then there was gore and splatter. And God saw that the gore was good, and God made Gorerotted. And he said to Gorerotted, “go and make some really sick brutal death metal, you fucks”. And so it was, and the children of God were happy, and it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, and time passed, and God’s children lost faith in Gorerotted, because nothing could ever beat ‘Fuck Your Arse With Broken Glass’, so why carry on? And they told this to God. And God went to his bedroom and listened to Napalm Death and had a bong, and read his book of puns. And God said, “Let there be a new band, and let it be called ‘The Rotted’. And let it mix hardcore punk elements into the brutal death metal stew, but let it do so without being lame”. And God’s children doubted his word, because everyone knows what happens when bands try that shit, but they held tight and regularly checked Myspace. And after a while, God gave the new album to his children. And it was the dog’s bollocks.
‘Get Dead or Die Trying’ sounds nothing like Gorerotted, really, so it’s no surprise they changed the name. Listening to Gorerotted, you could well imagine they recorded each album in one take. Not that it was sloppy or anything, far from it, it was just fucking raw. The Rotted are an entirely different affair - This is sleek, refined death metal, without being at all pretentious. Every instrument is given just enough space to breathe, every riff is carefully calculated and perfectly timed. It even borders on sounding ‘Death & Roll’ at points, although the speed keeps it from straying too far into those iffy waters. The harsh vocals are loud and thick, delivered with a rumbling force that Gorerotted’s stuff lacked.
The punk influences really add something cool to the mix. I’m no hardcore kiddie or anything (fuck that shit), but I think any metalhead worth his salt should appreciate at least some punk. And, evidently, so do the guys in The Rotted, since this album really embraces the punk aesthetic (check out the album cover) and sound, while remaining unmistakably death metal. Each song has an undeniably catchy punk vibe, to such a degree that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if its music videos end up on Kerrang. Which is strange, because a death metal band with that level of commercial viability would normally be totally gay. But this is really good.
So, in conclusion. This album is a fucking great surprise from the ex-Gorerotted boys. I fully approve of and support their new musical direction (as long as they’ll still play old Gorerotted songs live) and I hope it makes them rich and famous. You should buy it.
Originally reviewed for http://metal-jerks.com
I gotta say I'm not a huge fan of punk nor hardcore but when it is dealt with in a correct manner, i.e. when it is infused with a healthy dose of metallic brutality, it can be rather enjoyable. In the case of brittanic insaniacs The Rotted (formerly known as Gorerotted) however it becomes nigh on brilliant! I remember purchasing Gorerotted's Only Tools and Corpses (2003) a few years back, mainly due to the hilarious songtitles - Fuck Your Arse with Broken Glass, Can't Fit Her Limbs in the Fridge etc - and enjoying it quite a bit. At least for a while before the humor factor wore off. It was still a pretty good grinding death metal album and I had high hopes for their future. The following album, A New Dawn for the Dead (2005), was sadly just a pile of pure crap in my humble opinion and thus ended my interest in the band.
Upon hearing of their namechange and musical transformation - from grind/death to a more rocking style of punkish death - I decided it was time for the two of us to get reaquainted. Damn glad I did! Get Dead or Die Trying doesn't only come up to par with their '03 album, it oblitirates the bastard into pieces. The new found energy and brutal punk feel does all the difference and gives the band a completely different sound. It sounds grittier, angrier and far more authentic than past efforts. On top of this they've added a nice melodic touch and it doesn't take many listens until songs like It's Like There's a Party in my Mouth (and Everyone's Being Sick), Nothin' but a Nosebleed and Fear and Loathing in Old London Town are forever branded to the brainstem.
The only downer on the album is midway sleep-fest A Brief Moment of Regret - a psychedelic sounding low-tempo crapper - which completely ruins the punishing drive of the album. Album finisher 28 Days Later, a soundtrack cover, could've been left off as well for the very same reason. Had this album been 9 minutes and 19 seconds shorter it could very well have reached the nigh on unobtainable 100% score, because quite frankly this is one of the greatest death metal albums I've heard in my entire life. No shit! As it is now it stops at a, still very respectable, 90. Sad but true. Thankfully there is a skip button on my stereo remote and apart from the two mentioned tracks which seriously f**ks everything up this album is simply f**king amazing!