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ROTTING KINGDOM
ROTTING KINGDOM
Rotting Kingdom
(Godz Ov War Productions)
24:11min

There is little info on this USA band, but from a strictly musical standpoint, it is not necessary. Although it is certain that the band spawned from other outfits such as TOMBSTALKER (Death / Thrash), PYROMANCER (Black / Death), NEST (Sludge) and SOUND ALTAR (Doom). I was expecting a totally different style of Metal when I read the name ROTTING KINGDOM. But what came out of the speakers was a great surprise! These guys are following the path set back in the early 90s by such Doom / Death giants as ANATHEMA, (early) KATATONIA and (early) THE GATHERING to name a few. The influences are undeniable, but they have mixed them well not to sound like copycats. This self titled EP, their first recording, includes 3 songs that dwell between melancholic Doom Metal and pounding Death Metal played with forceful conviction and amazing musicianship. There is really no other way to describe it. The eight minute opener 'Adrift In A Sea Of Souls' is a perfect example of how ROTTING KINGDOM manipulates their compositions to maximize impact. Everything from the very MY DYING BRIDE-ish opening melody to the full on CATHEDRAL Sludge attack to the final PARADISE LOST influenced harmonic work. 'Castle Of Decay', the second song here, is more Death Metal oriented, but it keeps the melodic / harmonic work intact. This song also has great work from drummer Brandon Glancy and bassist Chuck McIntyre. Finally, I was not expecting the fast paced parts in the closing song, 'Demons In Stained Glass', which also expands the listening experience. And when it comes to Doom Metal (a sub-genre that can become boring or annoying in seconds) variation is almost a requisite to keep everything interesting. Kyle Keener and Clay Rice come up with good pounding riffs à la DISMA mixed with somber melodies and a majestic atmosphere that reminded me of one of my favorite bands, Germany's WORSHIP. And finally vocalist Anton Escobar shows that he can gurgle, grunt and scream with class, since his vocals fit perfectly with the concept of each song. The production is amazing. It has the vibe and raw tone of those classic recordings, yet modern balance and clarity. I am really looking forward to ROTTING KINGDOM's next release! This is a brilliant debut for a new band which encompasses all of the classic aspects of Doom / Death Metal! Go show some support here: www.facebook.com/rottingkingdom. And check their excellent label here: www.godzovwar.com

Alfonso Perez

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