By Matt Hinch
Finnish grind merchants Rotten Sound are celebrating 20 years of existence in 2013 and they’re certainly kicking off the year in style with Species At War. This stopgap EP comprises six tracks in a blistering eight minutes. And what a suffocating eight minutes it is. Centered around religious and cultural wars, Species At War is a firestorm of aggression and high speed fury. Imagine all the chaos and negativity of the myriad wars and skirmishes taking place across the globe right now and concentrate that into one bomb. That is what explodes from Rotten Sound here. The EP is like an aftershock from 2011’s Cursed, originating from the same place. It may not be as long but the potential for destruction remains. Species At War may be separated into tracks but all are stitched together in such a way that they feel as one. Like (6) fingers clenched into a fist.
Taking aim right for the throat, their fierce grind tears through tendon and bone with incisive riffs and the vicious vocals of Keijo Niinimaa. His contempt for the failings of mankind apparent in every word. Paired with the gut wrenching tone and might of guitarist Mika Aalto and bassist Kristian Toivainen, devastation is inevitable. When the machine gun cacophony of drummer Sami Latva rounds out the force, the eradication of enemies is complete.
Species At War is an incendiary and blindingly ferocious blitzkrieg of power. In full gear, the album flays the ears like a sandstorm of razorblades. When the attack slows (relatively speaking) the heaving riffs impact in atomic proportions, churning the stomach and stomping on bloody remains. Species At War is a flattening and concise flurry of hammer blows compelling the listener to action. If this doesn’t get your blood up and have you screaming in the face of intolerance, nothing will. I’ve got a suspicion 2013 will be the Year of the Grind and Rotten Sound are leading the charge.