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When 'Get Dead Or Die Trying' turned up for review, I had forgotten reading the news a couple of months back that UK extreme metallers Gorerotted had decided to change their name to The Rotted. I was, therefore, temporarily mistaken from both the cover artwork and band logo that The Rotted were some kind of punk act. On Metal Blade though? Hmmm, perhaps not. As the opening bars of 'Nothin' But A Nosebleed' blast forth from the speakers, the death-grind-thrash sound (and maybe an undertone of punk aesthetics) prompt me into further investigation, and my memory is jogged about the name change, discovering that I was actually listening to the new offering from Gorerotted. A blog on the band's MySpace states that "the lads felt that due to the huge progression they've made from previous releases musically and lyrically and after frequent line-up changes that this was the only right thing to do." After listening to 'Get Dead...' in its entirety, I wholly understand and appreciate the decision behind their new 'identity', and not only does the album progress Gorerotted's sound into the realm of greater musical diversity, but it's a superlative work of extreme metal brilliance that transcends any of their previous output. I guess one could also argue that 'Get Dead...' is a stunning debut release from 'new' band The Rotted. Whatever the case, here we have an album of undeniable magnitude that is set to become one of the most important metal releases of 2008. Unclassifiable in its heterogeneity, each track seamlessly weaves together many of metal's sub-genres from post-Napalm Death groove-grind to the interjections of blast-beat led death extremity. There's the infectiously catchy, groove-infused first half of 'A Return To Insolence', vaguely reminiscent of The Great Deceiver, which builds into a crescendo of dissonant brutality. There are moments of menacingly blackened riffing such as in 'The Body Tree' and 'Fear And Loathing In Old London Town' (perhaps ex-Cradle of Filth guitarist Gian Pyres compositional influence?). The thrash essence of 'The Howling' is interposed with blast-beat led death passages and a contrastingly down-tempo section two-thirds of the way through before culminating in an outro where vocalist Ben McCrow yells "fucking howling", an ending obviously inspired by a certain Pantera song from 1992. The onslaught of heavy riff-led metal cacophony is interjected mid-way through proceedings with the mellow, atmospherically melodic number, 'A Brief Moment Of Regret', a track that has somehow found its way into Topshop/Topman's instore playlist (really, I kid you not!!?!) And then there's the metal icing on the proverbial cake - 'Get Dead...' climaxes with an inventive, and quite brilliant, cover of the most famous theme from John Murphy's '28 Days Later' soundtrack (still better known by many as the music from the Peugeot advert that played in cinemas 3-4 years ago, and widely used since in both film trailers and television). I cannot recommend 'Get Dead...' enough - an album verging on perfection in its intended, hard-hitting, in-your-face, unmitigatedly extreme metal brilliance from start to finish. Essential.
Metal Blade Records
Review by Mark Holmes
30th June 2008
1) Nothin' But A Nosebleed
2) The Howling
3) A Return To Insolence
4) Kissing You With My Fists
5) Angel Of Meth
6) A Brief Moment Of Regret
7) The Body Tree
8) Get Dead Or Die Trying
9) It's Like There's A Party In My Mouth (And Everyone's Being Sick)
10) Fear And Loathing In Old London Town
11) 28 Days Later
"...an album of undeniable magnitude that is set to become one of the most important metal releases of 2008."