Get Dead or Die Trying by The Rotted
Release date : July 2008
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
In late April 2008, it was announced that Gorerotted, the masters of Death Metal atrocities, had changed their moniker to The Rotted. According to the group, this was in light of progression both musically and lyrically. Produced by Russ Russell (who's worked with the likes of Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, The Wildhearts, The Exploited, and Space Ritual) at Northamptonshire's Parlour Sounds Studios, Get Dead or Die Trying saw assistance from James Dunkley (who's worked with Blaze Bailey, Crass, Crowbar and Fields of the Nephilim). Additionally, a cover interpretation of music culled from 2002 movie 28 Days Later features, the movie being originally scored by John Murphy. Get Dead or Die Trying was recorded by the following lineup; vocalist Ben McCrow, guitarist Tim Carley, lead guitarist Gian Pyres, bassist Wilson, and drummer Nate Gould.
During mid May, a brief trailer in support of the album was released, and by the end of the month, “Nothin' But A Nosebleed” was made available for download via Metal Blade Records' official website. In mid June, the record's title number was made available for streaming via The Rotted's official MySpace page. For a mere seven days from June 23rd until the 30th, the whole album was made available for streaming via Terrorizer magazine's official website. With support from Ted Maul, a headlining British club trek occurred from mid June to early July. Beginning at Cambridge's Barfly on June 14th, the tour came to a conclusion on July 6th at Newport's TJs.
Technically a debut full length, Get Dead or Die Trying is a rebirth in truth. The Rotted are part of a fresh, burgeoning breed of Metal group who lie amongst an area situated between Thrash and Punk, yet maintain a strong affinity with Death Metal's vocal approach. Frequently unsettling lyrics regarding serial murderers, and unspeakable acts of horror, defined Gorerotted, though The Rotted has opted towards slightly more genuine matter - the group contends that their actual lives are of much more interest than the semi-fictitious accounts Gorerotted penned throughout the noughties. In truth, The Rotted's musical change isn't stark, and longtime group fanatics likely foresaw such a change.
Operating at a much quicker pace under the new moniker, the material still happens to be aggressive nonetheless, though slightly eschews brutality in favour of a Punk credibility. Within Get Dead or Die Trying, a “fuck the world” quality is irrefutably prevalent, and hasn't been upon past full lengths, yet is wholly entertaining. Of this newfound inspiration, the title cut and “Angel of Meth” form prime examples. Featuring a Hardcore-esque breakdown, a near militant march surfaces late into the latter. Vocalist Ben McCrow leads a chant of the song's namesake, with a non-existent chorus providing able support. Boasting an extremely nineties Hardcore vibe, if that very track doesn't cause you to pump your fist in the air (whether you're alone, or amongst the company of others), then you should immediately check your pulse. A sombre instrumental entitled “A Brief Moment of Regret” subsequently follows, which proves initially irksome. However, the track supplies appropriate breathing space, and allows listeners to contemplate “Angel of Meth”'s lyrical heaviness, a heaviness that is more tangible upon repeated listening.
Generally speaking, genre minded fanatics who favour The Rotted's past releases may experience disappointment upon listening to Get Dead or Die Trying. Careful not to wholly alienate those fanatics however, that speaks volumes regarding The Rotted in this reviewer's opinion. Extremely heavy, “The Body Tree” cannot be deemed Gorerotted type material however, although the track will nonetheless quench the thirst of admirers who yearn for the group's past stylings. Much quicker numbers than “The Body Tree”, “Fear and Loathing In Old London Town” and “The Howling” prove to be additional moments that will satisfy the group's established fanbase.
Overall, The Rotted will not lose much ground in having issued Get Dead or Die Trying. Still, The Rotted exhibit much of the qualities that initially drew music aficionados towards Gorerotted, the group's lyrical approach being the notable exception. In light of The Rotted's change in lyrical stylings, fresh lyrical avenues prove newly available, though the group's musical sound is still brutal nonetheless - however, the music's brutality tends to favour a punishing, anthemic quality, as opposed to a splatter-fest. Resembling an excessively anxious boxer, Get Dead or Die Trying assaults the listener upon a million occasions within an extremely brief time frame. Given that so much energy is consumed during the album's initial minutes, the album becomes weary three-fourths into its overall duration. However, by the time that the full length's conclusion arrives, victory is registered via a knockout blow. Now, the amount of viable options are incalculable, especially if Get Dead or Die Trying is warmly received by the group's fanatics. This reviewer looks forward to seeing as to where The Rotted ventures from hereon in.