The Rotted – Get Dead or Die Trying
Metal Blade Records (7/8/08)
Witness the evolution of a band.
When Gorerotted charged onto the metal scene in 2002, the band was your typical death metal outfit (à la Cannibal Corpse), with its over-the-top imagery and offensive lyrics. But rather than languish in the underground, the band grew and changed with each effort. The punk aesthetic so prevalent in earlier material slowly gave way to more expansive musicianship. The dueling vocal attack was phased out. And now, with not only a name change (The Rotted), but also a change in lyrical content and presentation, the band has managed to position itself as one of metal’s next big things.
Not bad for a six-year span.
With Get Dead or Die Trying, The Rotted have served up one choking, turgid mass of death metal, tempered with just the right amount of thrash, grind and extreme elements to position the group as one of the premier new-school death metal bands on the scene.
Every track is chock full of growls, snarls, machine-gun drumming and glorious riffs. In fact, every one comes across as a death metal masterpiece. More notable are the subtle moments the band works into some of the songs. Take the killer breakdown and guitar solo on “Angel of Meth”, or the sick groove hiding just under the surface during the chorus on “The Howling”, or the totally out-of-place instrumental “A Brief Moment of Regret” (obviously thrown on there to exploit the band’s constantly improving musical chops). There are moments of thrash-inspired bliss to close out “The Body Tree”, and in the straight-forward metallic assault of “It’s Like There’s a Party in My Mouth (And Everyone’s Being Sick)”.
And perhaps the best and potentially most overlooked offering on the disc would be the album closer, a cover of the theme music from 28 Days Later. Aside from being a simply fantastic take on the song, it works as a mission statement for the band. While earlier in its career they chose to pull inspiration from the goriest flicks imaginable, this new approach is finding horror in the mundane and every day elements of life—much like 28 Days Later relied more on story and human interaction as opposed to being a straight-ahead zombie movie brimming with gore. Very nice choice.
This is still an extreme album, so the fan base is only so big. But The Rotted have managed to craft a killer (no pun intended) death metal release, with enough other elements pulled in to have something to offer to most fans of the metal genre. Perhaps not yet one of metal’s finest, with this effort The Rotted are surely proving the band at least deserves a spot in the conversation.