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Full length number two from The Rotted is now upon us and is brimming with the heaviest and most abrasive aspects that made up 2008’s ‘Get Dead or Die Trying’. And with more of the band’s punk influences to the fore, ‘Ad Nauseum’ is a mighty D-beat-infused slabs of extreme metal. Both the punk and death metal aspects of their sound influence are prevalent from the outset. ‘Anarchogram Sun’s Dead Kennedys ‘Holiday In Cambodia’-inspired riff and drum beat is soon joined by grinding riffs and tarmac-chewing vocals, giving the track a size and weight all of its own. Though an impressive opener, putting one of the best tracks so early in the album makes it difficult for ‘Rex Oblivione’ and ‘Surrounded by Skills’ to shine as brightly as they should. With the album taking a slight down turn pretty early on, it’s when the slow-paced ‘Non Serviam’ shifts back into the high gears for its second half that the album is dragged back onto its feet in time for ‘Just Add Nauseum’. With the Napalm Death shriek-then-growl vocals plastered across the grinding riffs and demonic drumming, this track immediately becomes contender number two for best track. Where the punk-riffed ‘Entering The Arena Of The Unwell’ passes by quickly (and is the least effective track here), it’s the groove and chorus of ‘The House of Bedlam’ that will have crowds unanimously head-banging their approval (number three on the ‘best tracks’ list). Of the remaining tracks, there’s the occasional moment of vehement delivery that stands out over the songs. ‘Apathy in the UK’ and ‘Motörbastärd’ both make rapid and rabid nods in the direction of their influences in both appellation and attitude. ‘The Hammer Of Witches’ returns to death metal territory for a crunching riff or two. And as seems to be increasingly common for the closing track of many a metal album of late, ‘Put Me Out Of Your Misery’ sees The Rotted taking the band in a very different direction. Slowing the pace down for a doom-laden and atmospheric instrumental, this is a very interesting track that may have been better placed somewhere earlier in the track listing, serving as an interlude or, better, an intro to an extended epic.

Though there may be tracks that stand out more than others, the standard across the album is by far better than good. A full set of catchy assaults upon the senses, ‘Ad Nauseum’ has raging riffs, precision drumming, punk-infused death growls, a bass sound that pleasingly grunts its concrete way through the mix, attitude in abundance, and a bunch of great punk-laced death metal tracks that most bands would yearn to produce. As they develop their own sound, The Rotted are improving at a rapid rate. Okay, there are areas that leave room for progress, but as it stands this is still a great album. Given the band’s significant development since 2008, their next release will no doubt see The Rotted take it up a notch or two. In the meantime, your ears may well thank you for punishing them with such a fine British death metal album.
Review by Jason Guest
31st Oct 2011
1) Anarchogram Sun
2) Rex Oblivione
3) Surrounded by Skulls
4) Non Serviam
5) Just Add Nauseam
6) Entering the Arena of the Unwell
7) The House of Bedlam
8) Apathy in the UK
9) Motorbastards
10) The Hammer of Witches
11) Put Me Out of Your Misery
"...a fine British death metal album."