15 March 2011
by Tom Dare
Grindcore’s ferocious formula doesn’t always lend itself to consistency or longevity, but Finland’s Rotten Sound are one of the shining exceptions. 18 years, seven long-plays and numerous EPs and splits after they first began, they’re still playing grindcore and, as new release Cursed proves, it’s still enough to make you want to demolish everything in sight.
Cursed rips into life with reassuring violence, the grinding rhythms smacking you around the chops with the bloody fist of ‘Alone‘ and beginning a four songs in five minutes assault that is like being stuck in a washing machine on spin cycle with a tray of surgical implements for company. The carnage is pulled back for brief snatches of the more punky stuff leading into the crusty filth of ‘Hollow‘. These fluctuations of pace are artfully judged, pulling back into utter filth at just the right moment to stop the breakneck speed becoming exhausting and accelerating back to the buttock-clenching aural barrage when the impact will be felt most. This is never more apparent than at the album’s close.
The pounding first half of the aptly-named ‘Terrified‘ slacks off into weighty stomp, before the more mid-tempo ‘Scared‘ roars with barely suppressed fury. At that moment, the squeal of distortion is torn away by the pure rage of ‘Doomed‘ as your limbs threaten to begin flailing involuntarily, only for the utmost viciousness to return to burn the album out in pure malice. Cursed is an abominable detonation of apoplexy that lives up to the high standards of a band that has stridden ahead when many have fallen, and Rotten Sound’s reputation will only only be strengthened by this.
Listen to ‘Pain’ from Cursed here:
Rotten Sound show absolutely no sign of losing their edge after all these years, and while “consistency” and “longevity” can be backhanded compliments and synonymous for “carrying on peddling the same old shit the fans will like without really doing anything spectacular”, in this case they are delivered as genuine praise. With albums on the way from Pig Destroyer (allegedly), Brutal Truth and Singaporean upstarts Wormrot, 2011 could prove a fertile year for grindcore. Rotten Sound have firmly laid down a gauntlet to all comers here: Match this if you can.
Sounds like: Extreme Noise Terror, From Enslavement To Obliteration-era Napalm Death
Top tracks: Superior, Addict, Doomed
Rotten Sound – Cursed tracklisting: