Rise of the Rotten


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Rise of the Rotten Review

by Phil Freeman

This is the full-length debut CD by a Danish death metal band that has chosen one of the most single-minded, impossible-to-misinterpret names possible -- only adding an exclamation point to the end (Die!) would have been more emphatic. Song titles like "Execution Room," "Gore Monger," and "Dead Flesh Makeover" keep their intentions clear, and the music matches the rhetoric. Vocalist Søren "Teddy" Christensen has a guttural roar reminiscent of Vader's Piotr Wiwczarek, harsh but comprehensible, never sinking into mere subhuman growling. Guitarists Tajs Kolman and Rasmus Henriksen keep the riffs downtuned and brutal, but relatively straightforward, never leaping into hypercomplexity for its own sake. Kolman's solos are fluid and clean, bobbing on top of the surging mix like a blinking rescue beacon in a turbulent ocean. Bassist Jonas Møller and drummer Bent Bisballe Nyeng do their jobs capably enough -- unless you're in an ultra-technical band that allows room for bass breaks, like Obscura or Atheist, being a death metal bassist is pretty thankless work, and Møller is basically an atmospheric rumble here, indistinguishable from Henriksen's rhythm guitar riffing. Nyeng, despite his blatant use of kick drum triggers, throws some pretty complex combinations, keeping the music nice and relentless but also surprising at times. This is a band that knows the limitations of its chosen genre, and works extremely well within them. Death metal loyalists will find Rise of the Rotten a welcome addition to their collections.

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