The Rotted - _Get Dead or Die Trying_
(Metal Blade Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
Never in a month of Sundays would I have fathomed the idea of lavishing my praises over the efforts of the English quintet formerly known as Gorerotted; a decidedly underwhelming effort in _A New Dawn for the Dead_, and some fairly cumbersome gigs had just about etched that in stone. Yet it seems that rechristening themselves has had a Samson-like effect on their musical prowess, a point quickly hammered home by their latest album's blistering opener, "Nothing but a Nosebleed" -- a track that succeeds in leaving you with far worse beside.

Their sarcastic sense of humour is still intact, but with an unprecedented depth of maturity now pulsing through their blood-drizzled grinding, the laughs are kept to a measured minimum. Indeed, tagging The Rotted with the gore-grind label does them a severe disservice. "A Return to Insolence" masterfully incorporates strains of classic heavy metal into its hook-filled cache, while "Kissing You With My Fists" is pure primitive death metal -- the sort of tune that could just as easily have rested amongst Entombed's early work.

Powered by a stunning production, _Get Dead or Die Trying_ is a thing of beauty; a record that doesn't so much push the boundaries as twist and mangle it into an entity that's brimming with character. By the time the curtain drops with the heavily Danzig-influenced "28 Days Later", the only question you'll likely be left with is how on earth this band managed such a poignant transformation. Regardless of the answer, one thing is for sure: the UK extreme music scene's stock has just gone up by several points in my estimation.


(article published 2/7/2008)

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