Intestinal: The Rottening

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Intestinal: The Rottening
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Intestinal: The Rottening
Death Metal
Hellthrasher Productions
March 26th, 2012
Release length: 43:01
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Intestinal return two years after their 2010 debut full-length, Human Harvest. Not much attention has been given to this Swedish Death Metal band that formed back in 2008, leaving their previous effort through Psycho Records to greatly be unobserved. For their 2012 release, The Rottening, the band find themselves signed to Hellthrasher Productions. Given the label’s current roster, it’s safe to expect greater things from this offering, but does this five piece live up to those expectations?

While a little raw, The Rottening carries a heavy, dirty sound to each song. The vocals tear through the music with a nice range of enthusiastic guttural roars that add extra vile through some gargeling, or just lower growls in the background. This is met with the traditional Swedish Death Metal distortion on the guitars that is a mid-pitch sharpness against a loud bass presence that goes off into twanging territory at times, but really helps to maintain a lower tone to the outing. The cymbals sound pristine here, largely being to the forefront of the mix with a crisp sound that nicely fills the music without taking away from the thick snares and the rather dull thud of the bass kick that can be greatly overshadowed and drowned out by everything else recorded.

The Rottening is a loud album, and in many ways it works to push the violence of the music, as well as the proper dismal atmospheres in a rather brutal manner. “Flesh for Living” kicks things off with an audio sample of Sid Haig narrating that pain is god before crashing into the music. The song has a good deal of variety to it, such as machinegun paced double base kicks with matching riffs, mid-tempo paces that are catchy with two-stepping mosh pit fodder, and a slower chorus that erradicates all hope and replaces it with a headbanging mandate. While not a bad song , the second of those three really don’t match the grim, chaotic tone of the others, and it can be a bit hard to get into at first. “Vaginal Vomitation” is a much stronger offering entirely, leaving out the slight upbeat (when compared to the helpless attitude of other songs) Punk-esque attitude that the two-step section “Flesh for Living” had, and just assaults the listener with deeper music that is simply crushing. The energy is kicked up as well, finding rhaspier background vocals and much tighter music overall with some more complex chords that feed a crazy and disturbed agenda.

“Vaginal Vomitation” better sets the standard for the rest of the album, and really pushes your expectations pretty high. Unfortunately, while the material is good, there isn’t much that sticks out, instead coming off more like a typical Swedish Death Metal offering. “Torture” really stands out due to how dark it is, thanks largely due to the slower to mid-range passages that focus on heavy, simpler material presenting a marching groove to the mix that the guttural vocals really capitalize on despite being a little more restrained. “Vessel for the Dead” and “Slaughter” present similar musical foundations as “Torture,” though the last of the two sticks out the most. The mixture of tighter drumming with greater chaotic riffs segwaying in and out of the slower passages seamlessly really causes it to be a fluid and blunt performance. The only gripe is towards the very end when the riffs start to get choppy for no real reason. “Undead Unleashed” leads you to expect the worst of “Flesh for Living” to hit again, but the catchier material here is done well, feeding into the horror-esque world the band tries to achieve nicely with a powerful vocal presence that suits the faster material well, and comes off rather inhuman during the slower bridges and passages.

The Rottening has a decent sound to it that helps to work with the gore-soaked b-movie horror style that often will present a soul crushing sound that any Death Metal fan can get behind. Unfortunately, as stated earlier, there’s nothing too unique, and only a handful of songs that leave a lasting impression. Sure, those listed above, and others like “Gut Fucked” and “Reborn in Gore” offer a good deal of catchy headbang-worthy material, but overall there isn’t much to give the listener the drive to go back and listen to the album after the first few spins. Intestinal show that they have what it takes to create a solid enough album that you won’t regret buying, nor completely ignore following that first or second spin through. But, in the end, it will find a decent amount of time sitting in your shelves waiting for you to feel like throwing it back on than it will have spent being stuck in your player.

01. Flesh for Living – 4:20
02. Vaginal Vomitation – 3:56
03. Sensation of Death – 3:51
04. Torture – 4:51
05. Gut Fucked – 3:38
06. Vessel for the Dead – 3:14
07. Undead Unleashed – 4:14
08. To Die, To Rott – 3:56
09. Reborn in Gore – 4:08
10. Slaughter – 3:42
11. Eating Your Inner Organs – 3:11
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Intestinal (band)
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Physical review copy of this release provided by Hellthrasher Productions.