Lay Down Rotten
Gospel of the Wretched

Now this is some excellent death metal right here. Spanning many sounds and variations of death metal, Germany’s Lay Down Rotten bring a well balanced and never tiring extreme metal pallet.

Head-banging, groove based riffing and superb, emotive melodic leads punctuate this disc in an immediately memorable fashion. A lot of this stuff brings a couple other bands to mind, namely Edge of Sanity and Omnium Gatherum. Both have some of the most beautiful melodic guitar work I’ve heard that’s just loaded with passion, and I can’t help but be reminded of them hearing some of the stuff on Gospel of the Wretched. But as with Edge of Sanity, LDR know when to mix it up a bit more and drop the heavy hammer and bludgeon you with crushing groove. Take “Where Spirits Lie Dead” for example. This track has some of the best emotive guitar work I’ve ever heard in death metal (strongly bringing to mind Canadian band Soulscar), then go into “Altering the Whore” which is much more relentless groove based affair – until the end where they introduce a wonderful melodic solo. So goes the rest of the album, balancing their use of heavy and light into a well-written, highly memorable and listenable slab of extremity.

Some may consider vocalist Jost “Little” Kleinert’s low gutturals to be at odds with the the melodic aspects of the album, but I think it works great. Kind of like the goth metal male/female vocalist set up that’s labeled ‘beauty and the beast’ – the same can be applied here to the melodies/low gutturals, and they simply knock it out of the park.

Gospel of the Wretched is perhaps the most complete death metal album I’ve heard thus far this year. Catchy yet brutal, well written and executed. The melodies never become too sugary, and the heavier moments are never overpowering. Get this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
June 6th, 2009


  1. Commented by: bast

    Edge of Sanity and Omnium Gatherum? I´m in.

  2. Commented by: Shane

    Yeah I didn’t think this band was melodic at all really. Will have to check this out.

  3. Commented by: Erik T

    This is solid. Sounds a lot like the chunky Danish death metal like Dawn of Demise, Moker or The Cleansing but with as dash of melody

  4. Commented by: Staylow

    Yeah, some of it is really chunky and full of groove, but the melodic aspects were what really jumped out at me. There’s a good balance of both here.

  5. Commented by: Desperado

    Excellent album,great review.

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