ALBUM REVIEW: ROTPIT - LET THERE BE ROT
AN ULCERATED HOMAGE TO DEATH METAL'S EARLY G(L)ORY DAYS
Those attentive enough might notice how daily life can be packed full of serendipities. One recent example was a morning walk in Glasgow city centre where, in the shadow of an underpass, the pavement was cratered liberally with korma-esque paste-like vomit, spilt-kebab shards, Buckfast and urine rivulets and possibly some dried brown blood or something. That was just the bits you could see. Hell knows what festered in the crannies. The universe was clearly setting this up as an appropriate mood-setter to discover Rotpit.
It was too uncanny to be coincidence. And it's also too good a chance to pass up reviewing a band called Rotpit.
A frequently used quip in Jamm Tomorrow album reviews is that you can get an accurate idea of how a band sounds just by looking at their name, squiggly font, sleeve art and absurd song titles. This is especially true of splatter house death metal. Enter Rotpit: a kind of side-project comprised of other acts not known for subtlety including acts Revel in Death, Massacre, Just Before Dawn, Wombbath and Heads of the Dead. This band is, as you might have guessed, a pestilential eulogy to early obscure Scandinavian and English death metal. To quote a well-known advertisement campaign for a UK based wood staining brand, Let There Be Rot does exactly what is says on the tin.
It's fair to say Rotpit achieved what they intended. Let There be Rot is low-end, murky, unreconstructed death metal, a tribute to an underground scene long ago where the principal currency was poor quality bootlegged cassettes. It is naturally, therefore, a short record of stampeding punky chords, rumbling and wobbly elasticated base, creepy cheap horror movie hooks, and vomited vocals. The whole thing is gleefully inexact, muddy, and not very serious death metal. A record acting as a homily to decomposition.
Intentionally low-fi and ulcerated-tongue-in-fetid-cheek they might be, but Rotpit kick arse. The raucous charge of Night of the Ultimate Rot is absolutely thumping and redolent of the youthful drunken hideousness of Entombed or Dismember while the deranged sludgy march of Rotteness has vague hauntings of Morbid Angel. The echoing creeped-out hook lines, however, are kind of reminiscent of Paradise Lost’s teenage early gothic death metal but jamming with Immolation while there are also some lurching, chugging clunk of Benediction or Bolt Thrower.
You can almost smell Let There Be Rot. It is seeps viscously out of the speakers like industrial slurry. Rotpit is a dose of unhygienic revelry championing low-fi old-school, underground DM. It's energetic and demonically carefree and not taking life particularly seriously. Have you heard this type of stuff before? Probably. Experienced musicians get to a certain stage of life when they hanker after what first excited them as teenagers and put the music in their veins. Rotpit are another in a long line of acts who get off on the nostalgia of rediscovering the inchoate magic of the birth of a movement. This is not bad thing. It just demonstrates how this form of untamed music doesn’t really die. It doesn’t care. It will outlast Sam Smith and Lewis Capaldi and, in years to come, will still be impervious to any form of trend and lolling its tongue out, gurning its face and waving horn signs with puke on its boots.
Let There Be Rot is released via War Anthem Records.