At some points in your life, you seem to be wandering about in your closer surroundings and suddenly feel as if the city life around you dwells aspects you haven’t even heard about for years. This was the experience that struck me for the first time when a friend of mine introduced me to Mortal’s Path – a Death Metal band from a city next door. However, this time the same friend introduced me again (thanks, Dominik) to a Death Metal band right from my city. If you read Rocko‘s article about Metal bands from Gelsenkirchen, you have already heard (or are aware of that anyway) the big names – but there still are a lot more names to be mentioned when it comes to the underground. Hence – I was mindlessly walking through the city when Dominik introduced Damian to me – vocalist of Death Metal quintet Rotting Demise – and as a an additional matter of fact, they dropped their first EP right when I met him. Thus, we got connected and I got to review their first EP Casket Birth.
As mentioned above, Rotting Demise is a five-member Death Metal outfit hailing from my hometown Gelsenkirchen and was formed in 2018 – to regional fellas vocalist Damian might already be known from his time at NRW Death Metal combo Bleeding Heaven and Melodic Black Metal combo Atrium Noctis before – as well as drummer Dustin from Conceptor. So far, Rotting Demise have not seen any stages – which is going to change on the 14th of September, when they are going to play their first live set at Walkabout Billard Hall in Essen. If you want to take a look at their stage banners, you can already do so on their Facebook page ( here ) and you definitely should – because the designs look pretty neat. Although those five guys started making music just about a year ago, they did not take long to come up with their first material when releasing their first and self-produced EP Casket Birth in 2019 (allusion at Cannibal Corpse’s track “Born in a Casket”? – bold guess 😛 ). One of the tracks off this EP already found its way onto a sampler of music magazine Legacy – combined with a short review and an interview. Again – I’m not a big fan of going through musical production step by step – but with an EP this is just the easiest way to walk.
When kicking off with “My Whole Wrath” – Rotting Demise show that there is no need to wait but instantly thrash in with a hammering rhythm and a frantic growl to show where the listener is at. However, after a moment of chaotic drumming, we swing into a groovy chorus where Jonas and Simon on the guitars are able to show that their riffs coming in with a thrashy edge get you going. During the chorus, the tempo goes up a little and vocalist Damian shows that Rotting Demise do not only have love for Death but also Black Metal when he changes between high-pitched vocals and growls. The entire track switches the speed several times – what is striking the most though is the interplay between vocals and guitars that create an extremely catchy sound while still not losing any of the speed.
On the second track “The Arrival of the Apocalypse,” the thrashy Old School Death Metal sound opens up the track, shortly thereafter crashing into a fast blast beat that is taken to a halt by the first verse – which follows a similar slower characteristic as could be heard on the first track. Again, the riffs on the guitars add up a decent melodic feeling while not leaving the Death Metal sound at any point. The speed alterations on this track are absolutely great and thrust the listener from side to side. It also becomes evident that at least some of the musicians in Rotting Demise are interested in Slam Death Metal, since there is a short sequence that subtlely conveys the feeling of a breakdown slam part. This does not feel like a clean 2010 Slam part, though, but rather reminds of an Effigy of the Forgotten resemblance.
The final track that is the S/T track to the EP (“Casket Birth”) begins with another very thrashy riff – although it does not instantly emerge as a fast blast beat sound as could have been heard on the second track. During this initial sequence, guitars and vocals interplay perfectly again. Afterwards, the track follows a similar pattern as the tracks mentioned above. During the chorus, though, vocalist Damian once again shows that he can effortlessly switch between Death and Black Metal vocals.
This definitely is a solid Death Metal debut EP that can be listened to A LOT of times. The production is absolutely on point – especially when taking into consideration that this is a Demo EP. The attention of the listener is consistently upheld by either alternating guitar riffs or vocals that switch between several different pitches. The drums are pretty solid and absolutely capable of delivering what is needed to integrate the changes in speed into the swing of all the tracks. The entire set of songs on this EP showcases groovy Death Metal with dips into Old School Death and Black Metal – nuanced by a slight interest in Slam Death Metal – which is incredibly enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
8 / 10