Rotten Sound
Apocalypse

Finland’s long-running grindcore band, Rotten Sound have returned with their eighth full-length album, Apocalypse, and crowbarred in between all those albums are some EPs.  Over the years they have taken more time in between full-length albums but always release an EP just to whet our grind appetites before another grind power violence album is unleashed by them.

Apocalypse is their shortest album.  18 songs in 20 minutes.  The band has released what could possibly be their most lethal grind album and “Pacify” opens the album with the ‘Holy Shit’ moment for 2023.  I would advise you to keep those headphones on the low setting, as this album is not only loud but right out of the gates this song starts with such a vicious grind whirlwind blast that is intent on ripping your head and limbs off within the 42-second run-time.  Rotten Sound has returned and before “Pacify” begins it is over.  The title track has more vicious blasts and vocalist Keijo sings so fucking fast, it’s pure insanity.  At just a tad over a minute, this is one of the longer songs on the album.  Not much in variation though.

“Empowered” is the longest song at just about two minutes, and actually does not start with a blast beat.  It’s more old-school 90’s death metal speed until the grind comes in then it slows down some more and the guitars are just razor sharp and rooted in that buzzsaw Swedish death metal sound, the song is bludgeoning and I appreciate the tempo shifts on this song. Vocalist Keijo Niinimaa sounds especially angry on this album…well he always does and I always feel his spittle through the speakers, because he means business.  Sami Latva’s drums are punishing.  How he manages to blast like this is beyond me. Listen to the tightness of the blasts, then the drum rolls and the bashing of cymbals.  It’s almost like Animal from The Muppets show playing drums.  Pure chaos, and unbridled fury.

“Renewables” has tempo shifts where the song slows for a bit before grinding us back into oblivion.  “Denialist” starts with a slow and lumbering doomy heaviness.  Rotten Sound has experimented with doom before, on their prior releases, and this totally breaks up some of the monotony going on throughout the album.  The song picks up speed and then goes into high-octane grindcore.  Personally, I would have liked the opening riff on this song, to last longer, and allow the song to breathe more.  And if you did not know Keijo is in a number of bands and you need to check out Morbid Evils.  Total doom death metal sludge and you can hear his vocals on the lower end of the spectrum.  Their Supernaturals album was probably the heaviest album to drop last year.

Apocalypse ends with the song “Inflation” which starts mid-paced, before gradually picking up speed throughout the song.  The album ends just as it started-vicious.  Apocalypse is rooted in pure hatred and this is power violence grindcore.  Much of it has to do with the vocal delivery of the shouting and screaming.  He never gets irritating like some power violence singers, but there is some monotony because there really is no vocal tone variation on the album.

The music is played exceptionally well, but at the end of the day, this album is fairly monotonous.  Not much in the way of variation and the slower moments of songs like “Sharing” and “Denialist”, with the faster moments at other times during the songs, make those blasts sound even more punch you in the gut brutal.  At the end of the day, you know what you’re getting with Rotten Sound.  This is exceptionally executed and produced.  No question there, but their prior albums had more variations to the songs, not much of that going on here.  Rotten Sound can do better.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
June 7th, 2023

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