ALBUM REVIEW: ROTTEN SOUND - APOCALYPSE
FINLAND'S NOISE VETERANS MAKE A RARE RETURN WITH A SAVAGE LESSON IN GRINDCORE'S CORE VALUES
A kick to the groin isn’t a complex, protracted or graceful manoeuvre. It’s simple, unutterably nasty and just not cricket. And so it is with grindcore, the ugly and incorrigible step-child of metal and punk that is too much even for many committed extreme music followers. Enter Finland’s Rotten Sound who are kings of the ring when it comes to no-nonsense vicious noise. The band has existed in some form for years but only seldom released albums which has perhaps had the effect of magnifying their underground kudos of being ‘the real deal’ when it comes to grindcore.
Apocalypse is the band’s first album since 2016 and despite that hiatus, as well as the band’s 30 year vintage, Rotten Sound are absolutely pummeling. Apocalypse sounds like one. While various attempts have been made over the years to experiment and tweak the grindcore blueprint, Rotten Sound do nothing of the sort. Have no doubt, Rotten Sound eschew any impositions of modernity in favour of rampant grindcore guts.
The nasty, vein popping brevity of Pacify fumes with blind, possessed wrath and unshackled demented energy. You barely draw breath before two seconds of feedback hail the feral blast beat burst of Equality and then Sharing with its violent and incendiary breakdown. There are machinegun blast beats galore (the title track) and crusty punk chords (Suburban Bliss) while the seething vocal performance from Keijo Niinimaa is unhinged. Each of the twenty songs are, mercifully, blink-and-you-miss-it brief and all gleefully and dementedly warp speed often blending into each other.
The template for Rotten Sound’s music is uncomplicated and, lets face it, unoriginal. And yet so few extreme acts can pull off this type of delivery anywhere near as convincingly as these time-served old hands. Rotten Sound are ferocious, but so are a lot of bands who have vocalists who can roar down the rafters and drummers that can blast beat an oilrig to dismantlement. It’s just these angry Fins have an unpretentious and unvarnished sincerity that can only come naturally. It’s an old-school unreconstructed approach that you can’t train. Just listen to the unbridled wrath of Renewables or Newsflash and try to name some acts outside Nasum and a handful of others who can compete. And this, people, is how you do grindcore.
Apocalypse is released via Season of Mist and check out the bandcamp here: https://rottensound.bandcamp.com/album/apocalypse