February 17, 2010 | , | 3.5

Natron, Rot Among Us

Natron: Rot Among Us

Natron have been in the Italian death metal game for about 17 years now. Rot Among Us is their first album in five years — with a new vocalist (Nicola Bavaro) nonetheless. The title of this album is an intentional play off of the Misfits classic Walk Among Us. Those are the facts.

This is the opinion. Rot Among Us is a thrashing beast of an album. The pummeling death metal contained within this thin sheet of plastic is frenetic, frenzied and played like the seasoned pros these dudes are. Each track is memorable and furious in it’s delivery. I know absolutely nothing about this band or any of their other releases. I do know, however, that I have been playing the shit out of this album ever since receiving it several weeks ago.

Rot Among Us
The title track gets the album off to a burly start with massive riffs and thundering drums as the band builds to frenzied attack at 1:30. The pace is rapid as the drums pile drive their way through the song. The guitars have an old school feel to them, but with modern song structures. The vocals are deep and gruff, but easy enough to understand. This is a thrashing bastard of death metal that will have necks snapping in no time as you try and keep up. This is definitely one hell of a way to open up an album.

Dead Beat
These guys don’t back away from the accelerator as they increase their furious delivery with blasting drums, raucous riffing and an aggressive vocal delivery. This song is set to 11 the whole way through, leaving you little room to catch a breathe or relax. Holy hell, this song is bad ass. There are some decent tempo shifts that will keep you on your toes and thoroughly entertained. Don’t miss the lead at 2:17.

Bullet Of God
Nothing like starting off a thrashing beast of a song with a sick lead. Once the high flying guitar subsides the guys settle into a manic and frenzied rhythm that’s thick, unrelenting and full throttled mayhem. I haven’t heard any of the band’s previous material, but if it’s anywhere near as intense as Rot Among Us, I’ll be purchasing their back catalog for sure. The dude on drums unleashes hell on each and every song, like his life depended on it.

Prime Cuts
“Prime Cuts” starts off with some layered noise for the first 15 seconds or so before hitting you upside the head with some slick riffing and machine gunning drums. There’s a slick groove that sits beneath the thick guitars and gruff vocals that carries the song along quickly. I love the mosh and guitar work at 1:50 — it’s beefy and menacing.

Heads Are Rolling
I love the opening to this next track as it builds to some thundering drum work and memorable riffing. The thrashing groove that the guys settle into as the vocals come in is infectious. There are enough shifts within the riffs and the tempos that heads will surely roll after listeners do everything they can to try and keep up head banging with the manic pace.

Enthroned In Repulsion
I’ve listened to this album too many times already and I have yet to find a fault with it. I love the aggression, the production and the sheer ferocity that these guys let loose with. “Enthroned In Repulsion” is no different as the barbaric drum work will leave you black and blue as the frenzied riffing cleans up the mess with sickening precision. There are a couple of nicely timed guitar sqelches around the 1:30 – 2:00 stretch in the song that add a little extra something to the mix.

Only Living Witness
Wow. The guitars that gets this next one under way are quite memorable especially with as quickly as the vocals and drums come in. “Only Living Witness” is a burly song with catchy riff work and manic drums. There’s really not much else to say about this one except hang on for dear life, it’s a ripper.

Planet Corpse
Much lighter guitar starts off “Planet Corpse.” The acoustic notes carry a melancholy tone through the brief instrumental as sound effects fade in here and there.

After that quick breather Natron get back into a rolling groove like that of an out-of-control steamroller. It’s nice to hear the band slow it down a bit while not losing any of the power and ferociousness they have had so far on the album. There is some really creative drum work throughout the song, but it never really over shadows the rest of the band. There is some decent melody thrown into the mix that tempers the menacing nature of the band’s sound nicely. This is a pretty damned good song.

The Infection Theme
Hell yeah. Sick riffing and building drums get this one flowing like puss from your favorite infection. The vocals are even that much more vehement and sick. The layered vocal work is a really nice touch that gives the song some nice depth. The chorus is catchy enough to growl along with, as well.

Backyard Graveyard
The final track is a violent and aggressive song with blasting rhythms and sick riffing. There’s an old school tinge to the song, but it’s also got a very modern thrashing death metal vibe. I’ll tell you what man, you’ll be hard pressed to find as complete an album as Rot Among Us. It’s got everything a metal head could want, yet is quite cohesive and short enough to not get tiresome. Well done, Natron!

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