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Rotten Sound - Contaminate To Consume (MCD) Review

by Hobo

Thank God. Just when I was getting concerned where my next grind hit was coming from the Finnish gods of grindcore return. Rotten Sound's Exit was one of my favorite releases of 2005, and one of my all time favorite grindcore releases.

After searching back and purchasing Murderworks, I have to say the progression and maturation from the one album to the other is remarkable. I found Murderworks to be a reasonably sound release, but overall fairly lacklustre. The songs blend too much into one another with no real variation; bar switches from blastbeats to pummeling passages of double bass. Clearly the three years in between the two albums were formative to Rotten Sound's style - they went from playing fairly linear single minute songs of undifferentiated blasting to songs upwards of three minutes. The group has stepped up immeasurably in terms of song structuring and production values - and although Murderworks is considerably shorter, it dragged on where Exit maintained interest with more varied riffs and memorable performances from all band members.

So now Rotten Sound grace us with another dose of awe-inspiring brutality, inhumane drum work, and killer grooves. Decay, the first track on the album was available well in advance on the group's website - and did it ever keep me in f**kin' suspense. The same all consuming, wall-of-sound production is present as per Exit and the song more than solidifies the notion that the genre grindcore is now officially Rotten Sound's plaything to manipulate like a sedated and bound schoolgirl.

The next track Lost is just a notch slower than your average song, with some more weighted build-up into a prolonged grooving breakdown passage at the one minute mark. Crime cuts the bulls*** and opens with a punishing blasting section where Keijo Niinimaa utilises the tried and true Mieszko overlapping vocal technique. At a little over a minute, this is a succinct outburst of agony.

GDP opens with a dark rolling thrash segment that is punctuated with some awe inspiring blast beats. It is about this point that I'm certain Kai Hahto's replacement on the kit, Sami Latva can more than hold him own. We close for a full minute on the signature slow crushing steamroller of a doomish groove. CTC opens at the same pace - a calculated, unrushed crushing roll of noise which advances through a couple of killer riffs. Strangely enough, at the minute mark the guitars offer only feedback as a violin provides the lead-in to the next riff. When they band jump back in the slow chugging passage is supported with some synth atmospherics. Simply awesome. It is good to see Rotten Sound's sense of experimentation is still with them - and the instrumental track paid off.

Flesh wastes no time in opening with a f**king insane blast just in case you thought the lull in tempo was anything but a fleeting moment in a s***storm of violence splintered bone. Another one minute song at crushing speed - blast, thrash, grind, repeat. Fear sounds like one of the less stand-outish, standard Exit tracks. Time starts by hinting at the killer groove the song - and the MCD - closes on, before hitting the highest point of intensity and brutality one last time.

A great transitional mini-CD. The group don't stray too far from what worked on Exit, but still offer glimpses of the carnage to come. The change from Kai Hahto to Sami Latva on the kit is not altogether unnoticeable, but Latva more than holds his own. The only real difference is a slight reduction in the pants-soiling interspersions of unnecessary technicality and fills, and (maybe it's just me) some of the album seems just a tad slower.

Consume to Contaminate is more than a worthy purchase. While not quite at the level of Exit, Rotten Sound have demonstrated they are one of the leading groups in the grindcore scene - and that you will be hearing their name again soon. Now… to wait for the next release…

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Rotten Sound - Contaminate To Consume (MCD)


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