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Not Quite as Rotted as They May Have Hoped - 43%

XuL_Excelsi, November 19th, 2010

The Rotted is a rather low-key death metal act from England, and their first release after changing their name, “Get Dead or Die Trying”, was a very entertaining release with excellent production and mindless aggression which I enjoyed very much. Paradoxically, this EP, “Anarchogram”, I enjoyed much less.

It’s a disappointment, really, since their previous album had so much potential, that this EP shows their new direction to be a diluted imitation of what death metal sounded like in the 90’s. There is no innovation or surprising songwriting at work here, and even though the lads waited so long to release this, it seems rushed and imperfect. Everything that was so great about “Get Dead…” is missing on this release. The vocals are standard death metal grunts and shouts, all the instruments are repetitive and uninspired, and the album is mostly forgotten as soon as the last track rings out. Fans of their earlier work, both as Gorerotted and The Rotted, will surely miss the catchy hooks and energetic choruses which made the old albums so great.

Of the six tracks, only two are original songs by The Rotted, while the remaining four are covers. The original songs are very forgettable, standard circle-pit fodder for drunken teenagers, and the covers are of songs too old to be relevant to said teenagers, so essentially The Rotted lacks purpose and a target audience here. The production is much weaker than the previous album, but that is to be expected since this is an independent release. It lacks the pure attack found in the clarity of the Metal Blade release, and the drums have lost their effective tone that sounded so aggressive before.

In summation, this EP is one for the bargain bin, or download only. It will not cycle on playlists for a very long time. There are however two highlights, in the form of “Deathcrush” and the closer “Out Of Hand”, which are quite apt covers of old tracks by bands I’m too young to know well, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Skip this unless you are truly a fan of The Rotted, in which case you won’t like this nearly as much as “Get Dead or Die Trying” anyway.