The Rotted

Ad Nauseam

Written by: MST on 08/10/2011 18:51:34

I've been completely hooked on this album ever since my very first listen. I can't remember the last time I listened to an album as addictive as "Ad Nauseam", the second album from UK d-beat death metal ensemble The Rotted. You may already know the band as Gorerotted, a name under which they released three albums before changing their name, but they left it behind in 2008 when they changed their style and added some delicious d-beat to their sound.

What is d-beat then? Apart from death metal, there are clear traces of hardcore punk and grindcore to be heard in "Ad Nauseam", making the album an extremely varied effort. There are songs like "House of Bedlam" and "Hammer of the Witches" that are mostly just ordinary punk-infused death metal tracks, but then we have addictive d-beat tracks like "Surrounded by Skulls" and "Apathy in the UK", the latter of which includes awesome lyrics about the music scene that the band came from when they were younger: "Death metal, black metal, thrash or punk / hardcore, grindcore, doom or sludge / to us it was one / DIY was law / it was the underground / and we supported it proud". Now that we're at the lyrics, I'd like to mention "Non Serviam" as well; it is one of the less interesting tracks on the record because of the slow nature of most of the song, but when the pace is picked up into some up-beat punk and a tiny amount of grindcore, we have vocal lines such as: "I'm not the antichrist, and I am not an anarchist / I won't make a difference, but I'll use my common sense". But the variation doesn't stop there. The grindcore tracks such as "Rex Oblivione" are "Just Add Nauseam" are merciless, brutal and fast as hell, while still maintaining that catchyness that the whole album reeks of (in a good way). And as a final treat we have "Motörbastärds", a track that (as the name suggests) would've sounded like a cover of a Motörhead song had it not been for the grindcore chorus. Everything about the verses, the bass, the guitars and the song structure just screams Motörhead, but it is an original song.

Regardless of the type of song we're talking about, The Rotted know how to write a great tune. The guitars churn out some menacing death metal and grindcore riffs, as well as some catchy hardcore punk melodies that should make anyone tap their feet. The rhythm section deserves kudos as well: the bass often just follows the guitars, but the volume (usually too low in many genres) is set to a level that makes the riffs even better. Sometimes though, the bass plays its own role, like in album opener "Anarchogram Sun", where the basslines are a big part of the soundscape. The drums go from menacing blasting to groovy one-two beats with plenty of variation, and sudden changes in tempo and structure. And finally, the vocals: semi-growls/shouts fill most of the record, but in many of the choruses, as well as the entirety of "Entering the Arena of the Unwell", the vocals are grindcore screams reminiscent of the high-pitch screams of Napalm Death's Mark "Barney" Greenway.

Album closer "Put Me out of Your Misery" is almost a drone doom track, as the speed is drastically slowed into oblivion, and the outro drags the listener away from the record in slow but steady pulls. But when the song finishes all I want is more. The Rotted have accomplished something with "Ad Nauseam": they have written an album that breaks the boundaries of death metal, grindcore and hardcore punk, and combines the pieces into a ridiculously addictive and refreshing death metal record. More of this please, a lot more of this.

Download: Rex Oblivione, Surrounded by Skulls, Just Add Nauseam, Motörbastärds
For The Fans Of: Napalm Death, Misery Index, the idea of punkdeathgrind (no one else play this genre)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 31.10.2011
Candlelight Records

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