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All hail the head vein! - 91%

BastardHead, July 8th, 2013

I know very little about grindcore. I can't listen to any one band and tell you why they are good for their style. I have no idea what grind fans love about grind and what makes Grind Album X grind grindier than Grind Album Y. I only grind a grindful of grind bands and I'm not even sure if they're the grindiest. Grindcore rarely even grinds what I'd refer to as "grinding" in the first place, since it grinds at far too high of a grind to truly grind the feel of grinding some grind.

The point is that "grind" is a really stupid word, and now you all agree with me.

But no, the real point is that, while I'm not as intricately familiar with grindcore as I am with death, thrash, or power metal, I do know good music when I hear it, and Finland's Rotten Sound is damn good. Their fourth album here, 2005's Exit, ranks as the strongest to me, and it may well be because of the splendid marriage of both sheer, nut-shattering intensity and bleak, apocalyptic nihilism. Exit, to me, is the kind of album that angry fifteen year old outcasts would write if they actually had any idea how to properly convey their ideas. Every track is just chock full of fast, to-the-throat evaluations of our places in society as merely cogs in the machine, the inevitable downfall of us all due to the overwhelming greed of those in power, and the depression of soldiering forward as a faceless drone weighed against the futility of trying to break free from the mold. There's no way out, life is terrible, you know it and I know it, let's get together to demolish a house with our fists and then eat a gun.

The band gets these themes across with the utmost fervor, blasting away with a wall of sound moving at light speed, completely overwhelming you as if you're standing under a waterfall; except instead of water, it's bile. The opening title track takes about forty seconds or so before it really starts, but when the distorted ambiance gives way, we're treated to twenty seconds of the most blisteringly fierce music imaginable. And it never lets up from there. Apart from the fake-out ending of "The Weak", Exit never takes its foot off the gas, and the album would only suffer if it were to take any other path. Every last track is just stuffed to the gills with blasty poundy rippy shreddy deathgastic fuckfarting. That doesn't make sense, but at the same time it totally does. There are riffs here and there, and in fact this is quite riffy for grindcore (based on my admittedly loose grasp on the genre), but it takes a back seat to the overwhelming intensity. There's pretty much no room to rest here, and it's just a constant barrage of blasts and shouts, but really what else could this possibly consist of? There are some cool flourishes like the drainpipe gurgle at the end of "Maggots" or the bass break in "Mass Suicide" or the mosh riff in "Western Cancer", but they're relatively few when weighted against the brick wall of clipped relentlessness.

I know that all comes off as kinda vague, but there's only so much you can say about Exit. It's bleak and nihilistic and just takes a really balls out aggressive approach to the themes presented. The world sucks, and sometimes you're not just sad about it, you're fucking pissed about it, and that's what Rotten Sound allows you to do. Exit is the soundtrack for lashing out against the frustrations of everyday life and just taking absolutely no prisoners in your rampage. There's nothing held back, and as a result it's actually kind of one-dimensional, but this approach is so good that I find myself not caring. It's fast, unrelenting obliteration, and is a perfect album for venting your stress (aka: "punching shit to pieces while screaming your head off").

Originally written for Lair of the Bastard

Short and sweet - 98%

Leechmaster, February 9th, 2009

I usually prefer albums to be somewhat lengthy, epic and absolutely outstanding throughout its entirety, and whilst this record is nothing short of spectacular, if it were any longer I think my ears would have melted. Yet, even though this album isn’t exactly easy on the ears, it still manages to receive countless listens for days on end. So what makes Exit so special? Well, the main reason would be its explosive extremity. I know the genre is renowned for its aggressive nature but holy shit, these guys seem exceptionally infuriated. With their teeth gritted and fists clenched, the members from Rotten Sound deliver 18 of the most pissed off grindcore tracks to date.

After listening to the opening passage of indecipherable noises you are instantaneously hit with chaotic grindcore left, right and centre. Such ferocious onslaughts of pummelling blasts and double bass, brutal riffing and monstrous bass lines all being played at extreme tempos are aplenty as well as some slower, crunchy grooves. Mika churns out these impenetrable grooves, quite literally creating a wall of noise with one of the filthiest, crustiest, dirtiest guitar tones that will ever contaminate your ears. How Rotten Sound are able to achieve that ever so distinctive guitar sound will continue to remain a mystery for me, but all I know is that it’s filthy and I like it.

Keijo’s vocal performance is quite literally inhumane, as he must of “sold his soul” to the devil himself to attain such an obliterating voice. Ranging from sickening guttural growls to bellowing mid-range grunts to devastating shrieks and everywhere in between, this guy is just pure fucking evil. Now, even though the majority of the vocals are indecipherable to some extent they still remain very catchy, specifically some vocal passages in “V.S.A.” and “Nation.” These, along with the gang vocals used in the outro of “Sell Your Soul” where Finland’s own demon children are belting out “SELL YOUR SOUL AND DIE ALONE!” in unison together are just a level above awesome. Speaking of awesome, Toni’s immensely distorted bass lines plough you even further into the ground with another massive wall of sound as well as providing plenty of head-banging opportunities.

The drumming is excellent and by excellent, I mean perfect. It’s just flawless in every way imaginable. His blast beats are completely annihilating and his precision and stamina is equally impressive. You might think that after hearing the same snare drum being smacked profusely for almost half an hour you’d get sick of it, but no you don’t. From the first cracking strike to the last, they are all incredibly remarkable. The same principle applies for Kai’s devastating feet of fury, with every single stroke just sounding overwhelmingly destructive, whether it be the machine-gun triplets in “Burden” or intricate, syncopated patterns in “Soil.” He also incorporates catchy half time grooves into the down-tempo passages and makes excellent use of the splash and china cymbals as well as the toms during these sections. Another component of Hahto’s drumming making him so incredible is his ability to maintain such groove to it despite the break-neck tempos of the songs. On top of this, not once does his drumming even begin to seem repetitive or boring either and remains solid, refined, and plain flawless throughout the albums entirety. These mind blowing skills combined with the drums extremely clean production yet again increase the album’s overall incredibility.

This album is a must have for fans of metal in its most extreme form. Grindcore doesn’t get any better than this.

Rotten Sound, Fresh Music - 95%

smille76, February 20th, 2005

This album is my first experience with this band from Finland and I've been really impressed. Usually, grind bands are pretty much hit or miss with me and Rotten Sound managed to captivate my attention for the whole album.

This album entitled "Exit" consists of short songs ranging from 1-2 minutes in the pure grindcore tradition; it is pretty much a hit & run affair with these guys and the album must be listened as a whole, since some of the songs complement others. Anyways, it is so varied and enjoyable that you won't see the time fly when listening to this gem.

Musically, this is really impressive. The band is really tight and they manage to tear through songs like a rabid pitbull at a child birthday party. The sound they create is genuine grind/death metal, but it is much more than this. This actually sounds like some early swedish DM on fast forward (Entombed, Grave, Dismember, you get the idea). The songs contains huge grooves and thick monstrous riffs reminescent of this kind of music, only they are played at a few hundred miles per hour. Also, the band manages to spice things up, varying the tempo between fast, faster and warp speed throughout the whole album.

The vocal department is quite good, consisting of decipherable screams and low end grunts. They sound just perfect for this type of music, aggressive and urgent, with a touch of evilness in them.

Guitar-wise, "Exit" consists of riffs, riffs and more riffs. Each short track is filled with thick ans chunky guitar explosions. The ambiance created is one of pure chaos, yet it is easily accessible. The guitar tone is nice and fuzzy, adding to the general mayhem of the record.

On to the drum department, this is where the whole thing truly shines. Kai Hahto is a monstrous drummer, providing unrelenting sonic assault faster than you ever imagined a human can do. With his performance on this album, he truly established a standard on which the future grind/extreme albums will be judged. He blastbeats his way on the record like there is no tomorrow and keep alternating between nice intelligent fills and innovative drum rolls. His performance here is simply mesmerizing.

To conclude, this album has a great production courtesy of Mieszko Talarczyk (RIP) of Nasum and everything sounds deep and rich, unlike some records of this genre. This is how a grind album should sound IMO: thick, agressive and powerful in every department.

Fans of Nasuum, Pig Destroyer and the likes should definitely get this album!!