Friday, November 25, 2011

The Rotted Ad Nauseam


The Rotted Ad Nauseam

(Candlelight Records)

By: Chris Davison

Just in case there are some of you out there that HAVE been living under a rock, The Rotted are a band that evolved from the ashes of much-loved UK extreme death metal act Gorerotted following their final album, 2005's (ye gads, has it really been that long ?) A New Dawn For The Dead. With a final line up that includes Tim (guitars) and Ben (vocals) from the aforementioned band, and the mighty Rev Trudgill (bass) and Nate Gould (drums) from the criminally underrated Screamin’ Daemon, this is the follow up to 2008's filthy necrotic deathly punk Get Dead Or Die Tryin'. Given that fine record was one of my favourites of that year, and that stopgap EP release Anarchogram was so strong when released in 2010, can Ad Nauseam possibly see a continuation of the same fine standards as before?

Happily, that is a resounding “yes”. The beauty of The Rotted is that although they are clearly routed in the death metal tradition, they aren't shackled by any of the conventions of belonging solely to that genre. With this release, the chains have finally been lifted and thrown resolutely into the trash. This is a brilliant release that somehow manages to pay homage to all the heavy, extreme music that has gone before it. Hence, you will hear some of the fury and extremity of the early Napalm Death releases, the middle-finger, whiskey-soaked swagger of prime Motörhead, the crusty, soil stained punk of Discharge, Crass and Amebix, and the grinding hatred of Benediction.

While The Rotted’s debut album may have featured the Union Jack on the cover art, Ad Nauseam features such a quintessentially rebellious “fuck you” attitude that it could only really have been spawned in these sacred isles. Punked-up extreme metal such as “Non Serviam” are based around the always reliable and hook laden riffs of Tim clashing with the greasy, Lemmy-esque bass lines of Trudg’ and the astonishing drum-battery delivery of Nate. Perhaps the greatest change has come from the vocals, with Ben tempering his trademark sub-atomic bellow into a more finely honed but even more angry delivery that benefits from being all the more decipherable and furious.

If the musical cues weren't apparent enough for the casual listener, there are more hints and tips placed in the lyrics and the song titles. “Apathy in the UK” with the obvious punk reference in the title and the lyrics dealing with extreme music writes this authentic grimy, filthy, delightfully scuzzy Britishness across your ears in 50 foot high capital letters. Elsewhere, the none-too-subtle title of “Motorbastards” does exactly what is says on the tin – imagining, perhaps, how Motörhead would have sounded if Lemmy had originally been in Discharge rather than Hawkwind, and had been on crank rather than speed for all these years. It also features a bass line so greasy, fat, and sleazy it should really be housed in its own Peckham council flat (editor: British slang fails me). Oh, and the final bars of “Ace of Spades.”

Really, the production is a mini-marvel, managing as it does to retain the required level of grime and nastiness running, while also securing the correct levels of clarity and punch. At just over 40 minutes, Ad Nauseam is just the right amount of fast, fist-in-your-face extremity for drinking all of your beer and pinching your girlfriend before riding off into the sunset (in your car, natch). Quite, quite brilliant and a worthy combination of all that has been great in British extremity matched with the best levels of musicianship and modern production jobs. Trust me, if you have even a passing interest in death metal, grindcore, hardcore punk done the old way (i.e. before the wife beater vest brigade got involved) and thrash, then this should be filed under “essential.”

The Rotted MySpace

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

JEAN JACKET CONSTRUCTION MEANS WAR IV

At this point, I consider the vest finished. I'm not into pins, so I will not be adding any, and I like to have use of the pockets, so I doubt that I'll add any more patches. I have full use of the front and interior pockets as I was very careful to sew the patches in an approriate manner. That meant a laborious process of sewing by hand for the Deiphago, Nile, Unleashed, and Taake patches. I specifically sought patches of those sizes in order to fit on the front of the jacket without restricting the use of the pockets.

I'll start another vest soon, probably a black denim vest. Since the finished jacket mostly consists of black metal and dark, death metal bands, I may do the next vest as a blend of thrash, traditional, and stoner metal. A third jacket may just be straight up death metal, and might be a leather vest, as well.









Monday, November 21, 2011

Funerus Reduced To Sludge

Sorry to be rather incognito lately, but my other life has absorbed my focus of late. I even had to let a few shows go by due to other committments. I have been steadily completing my weekly column at About.com, however, and you can read my latest columns here, here, and here. One more column for 2011 will be published next Monday, and then I'll be taking about six weeks off ( I will be doing "best of the year" lists, though). I do hope, however, to get back to posting some astronomy and physics-related stuff, as a number of references seem to have popped up in metal, lately.

Here is a quick look at my take on Leviathan True Traitor, True Whore...



Chris Davison has also been very busy of late with committments that reside in academia, but he has has found time to crank out a couple of reviews. Here's his take on Reduced To Sludge from Funerus...



Funerus Reduced To Sludge

(Ibex Moon Records)

By: Chris Davison

"Not all old school death metal outfits hail from Sweden. Funerus have a longer pedigree than most of their peers, having demo releases dating way back to 1991, (no doubt, depressingly enough, way before many of our readers were even born), and features John McIntee (yes, that John McIntee) on guitars, his wife Jill on vocals and bass, and Mortician live drummer Sam Inzerra. It is fair to say, therefore, that the quality of Reduced to Sludge, coincidentally mastered and mixed by a certain Mr. Dan Swanö, is a cut above the rest. Not only in terms of overall quality, but also in terms of approach.

Unlike many other bands out there, Funerus aren't content to merely ape that all pervasive chainsaw-guitar sound pioneered by Entombed, sticking as they do with a more familiar, dare I say it, "American" guitar tone, while playing the kind of dirty, depraved riffs that nestle somewhere in between very old Death and Autopsy. Keeping the tempo around the mid-paced mark, and with more than a passing trip into slow territory, Funerus play to their strengths. Funerus create deliberately unpleasant hymns that bring to mind the glory days of early death metal when the conjuring of mental images was more important than the amount of poly-rhythms that could be knocked out by machine gun-like drummers.

John McIntee produces the goods with simple, but brutal, riffs, while wife Jill impresses with her vocals and deep bass work. With a low but decipherable growl, she manages to sound genuinely possessed, adding an air of creeping menace to the slower sections, which shuffle through the speakers as if they were genuinely made by the undead. Sam Inzerra does not disappoint on the kit either, with an accomplished performance that manages to produce the kind of tight ultra-technicality when required, but generally stays on the side of the atmospheric and original.

Quite a bit more messed up and rotten sounding than pretty much anyone else out there at the moment, save perhaps perennial filth-mongers Autopsy; there is a real niche in the market for honest, earnest and hard working bands in death metal such as Funerus.

This is it, kids. You can take your asymmetrical haircuts and Ph.D. in musical theory and take them next door. Me? I'm settling down for some anthems of detritus-infected musical/ biological warfare. Take it away, guys and dolls..."

Funerus MySpace

Thanks, Chris! You can check out my look at the same album here.

Next (I gotta get to a show)...