Rotten Sound: Species at War

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Rotten Sound: Species at War
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Raven Lord: Descent to the Underworld
Death Metal, Grindcore
Relapse Records
January 22nd, 2013
Release length: 8:16
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2011 saw the release of the latest Rotten Sound full-length album, Cursed, which was met with a lot of well deserved acclaim. Given the window from this release to today, it was about time for the band to issue smething new, or at the very least start writing. Well, with their love for EPs, it was almost a given that they would reach out to their fan base with yet another one. Species at War is a six song recording that barely breaks the eight minute mark. But, given the past quality efforts, is this really short experience worth chucking a good amount of cash towards, or is it better left for the used bin?

It’s no surprise the audio here is bass heavy, especially in the guitar chords that have a really low, chunky distortion common to the Death Metal and Grindcore world. The bass guitar itself is present, and pretty loud, though still mixes in with the regular chords perfectly for a bludgeoning assault. The drums are often well paced, or blasting away with slightly distant cymbals, a duller snap to the snares that fits the audio perfectly, and a strong thud to the kicks that does come through enough to make an impact. The vocals are a mix of harsher growls and deeper gutturals, both with plenty of energy and some static via additional distortion, adding some more aggression.

Species at War lunges right for the juggular the second it starts. “Cause” hammers away at the drums with a relentless blast beat approach met with faster chords, all shifting into some catchier riffs for the chorus. This shifts seamlessly into “The Game,” a slower track that focuses on presenting a hard hitting Groove and crushing atmosphere. It remains consistant until the end, stopping briefly, but coming off as if attached to “War.” This is another faster track with blasting passages, but there are some groovier areas as well that can immediately make you want to bang your head against the nearest wall, or throw down in a mosh pit you yourself wll be driven to create with the sole intent of murder. That head bang enthusiasm is a trait that comes up again for much of “The Solution” until it kicks back into more speed and fury to wrap up the last half.

For the most part, the rest of the EP retains that mixture of blast beat passages that cut into groove heavy ones. There is some variety here and there to keep the songs from being patterned, such as with “The Game.” However, the most unique is “Salvation.” Rhis one features groove driven Death Metal, but it carries a bit of a dirty trait to it as well that the other songs don’t quite have. The atmosphere is far less oppressive and unrelenting as well, acting more like a breather before crashing back into t heblast beat driven fury for the conclusion track, “Peace.”

Species at War isn’t really a typical EP. Instead, with how the band handles the transitions from one song to another, it’s more like listening to an eight minute plus song. Half the time, you won’t even know that you moved onto the next track, which really helps to keep your interest going. Even if it didn’t have that, Rotten Sound once again finds the most blunt musical instrument humanly possible to hammer your face off with as much rage as a bath salt driven junkie. If you’ve enjoyed the group’s previous offerings, there’s no way you should pass this up, even if the price tag is a bit too hefty for your liking.

01. Cause – 1:00
02. The Game – 0:53
03. War – 1:43
04. The Solution – 1:46
05. Salvation – 1:34
06. Peace – 1:20
Initial Pressing Score: 10/10

Rotten Sound (band)
Rotten Sound

Digital review copy of this release provided by Relapse Records.