April 7, 2011 | , | 4.5

Rotten Sound, Cursed

Rotten Sound: Cursed

What can you say about Finland’s Rotten Sound that hasn’t already been said two or three times in the band’s 17 years of existence? Not much. The only thing I can say about the group’s illustrious career is that they’ve never sounded better or more cohesive. Cursed is 16 tracks of unbridled rage on the verge of destroying itself at any second — and let’s face it, seconds really count when you’re packing that many tracks into less than 28 minutes time.

“Alone” erupts out of the gates and does more than set the tone for the album. It’s a threat of sorts — stick around if you like, but the remaining 15 songs are gonna hurt, and hurt good. The band continues where they left off with Cycles in terms of the overall feel to this latest full-length release. It’s just as dissonant and raw as ever yet a bit more strict and technically polished without losing that scary edge the band has always had. Everything is dense and frenzied as you would expect but with an overtly darker and more menacing atmosphere. The level of ferocity (just as we saw with their Napalm Death tribute EP) is off the charts.

Thankfully, it’s not all go all the time with Cursed. The band is smart enough to realize that a solid dynamic song structure within a few second time can do wonders. Just check out the varied paces of “Superior,” “Choose,” or “Declare” to see/hear for yourself. Don’t have fear, however, Rotten Sound are in no way softening their bludgeoning attack in any way, shape or fashion.

To tell you the truth, though, it really makes no sense to dissect this album track-by-track — every fucking song rules, trust me. It’s the whole of the album that really makes Rotten Sound what they are today. The Napalm Death influences are there (as are the Nasum elements), but they are bent to conform with Rotten Sound’s own will. You have to take an album like this at the macro level. Each track meshes with the others. Each track flows into the next seamlessly without causing too much of a jarring break in momentum. That’s where Rotten Sound excels with Cursed.

This isn’t just another rung in the band’s climb up the grind ladder toward the top. It’s an album that defines the band. It’s an album that will stand the test of time as one of the best releases from a band that’s already done enough to separate themselves from their peers. Cursed will be spinning in my stereo for quite some time to come.

Holy hell this album kicks some serious ass.