giovedì 2 marzo 2017

Rotten UK - "That is Not Dead......" (Hells Headbangers, 2016)

Band: Rotten UK
Title: That is Not Dead Which Can Eternally Lie
Genre: Horror Punk Rock with Punk/HC influences
Year: 11th November 2016
Time: 28 min
Rating: 73/100

It's incredible but Rotten UK, although founded in 2011, looks to be a band totally coming from the British punk/HC of the '80s. You can realize this everything about them, even into their cover artworks characterised sometimes by the notice to the sellers to don't pay than 2.50 dollars (as for the first single of Rotten UK, "Bloody Hell!!", released in 2013), that was a convention adopted by the Anarcho-punk bands of the Old Britannia during the '80s (Crass in primis). But all this is ever more surprising if you think that Rotten UK aren't British but Americans! Precisely, these 4 guys comes from Rochester, New York and, after some 7'', EPs and even a live album in 2015, they have released their debut album "That is Not Dead Which Can Eternally Lie" during the previous year through, surprisingly (but, not too much, for the truth), Hells Headbangers Records, a label very known for its big passion about the metal/punk, a bit less for the pure punk rock.

Rotten UK shows to be a strange beast with the 14 songs of "That is Not Dead......". In fact, the band intermix various influences for an album rich of imagination. In general, the songs of Rotten UK, reminding sometimes to me the shamanic visions of Amebix, looks to be rituals for the imminent apocalypse mainly characterised by horror themes, dark guitars, drums focused very much on tribal dances on the tom-toms, and by the charismatic vocals of Sinn Vicious (also member of the heavy metal punkers Blüdwülf), that's a real master of ceremonies able to range between very different vocals spewing forth also war howlings or wicked laughters. But, obviously, all this is played with a good aggressiveness, as teached by the typical '80s British HC.
Anyway, it's the same entire album that ranges from a style to another one but without confusing the listeners. For example, here you are the melancholic dark punk à la Screaming Dead of "Waiting for the Bomb" and "Royal Blood", where Sinn Vicious sings with very hieratic vocals. Or listen to "Stagnation is Sin", a clearly heavy metal mid-tempo number characterised by a real guitar solo and a main riff practically identical (also a bit too very much!) to the one of "Death or Glory" of Holocaust, an historic Scottish NWOBHM band. Instead, the dynamic up-tempos of the album, where Rotten UK are very close to The Exploited, GBH and the likes, are incredibly only 4: they ranges from the pure HC assault of "Their Dreams" to the one with a sadder and fatalistic atmosphere of "Reaper Follows", and from the crossover/thrash metal of "Dark Times" to the explosive "Deathbeat" (alternated between wardances on tom-toms and abrupt explosions at a tremendous wallop). Finally, I have to mention also "Crucifiction", a freezing spoken intermezzo with lyrics like "Eat my flesh, drink my blood/Eat my shit, drink my cum". Very nice words haha!
In summary, "That is Not Dead..." is a journey into the British punk rock of the '80s showing many faces of this old scene, especially the more atmospheric one. But I must say to prefer these anarcho-horror punkers into their more desperate, evocative and darker moments like "Waiting for the Bomb" or "Royal Blood", also because these are two of the more structured and longer songs of the album, so I suggest to the band to focus mostly their forces to this kind of tracks for the future productions. In addition to all this, you have to know that Rotten UK have also shot the official video of the threatening "Slipping Into Darkness" but now...ENJOY THE IMMINENT APOCALYPSE WITH ROTTEN UK!!!


1 - Phantasmagoric
2 - Revolution Moon
3 - Waiting for the Bomb
4 - Their Dreams
5 - Dark Times
6 - Reaper Follows
7 - Slipping Into Darkness
8 - Crucifiction
9 - Royal Blood
10 - Animal Sacrifice
11 - Stagnation is Sin
12 - Long Kiss
13 - Deathbeat
14 - Back to War


Sinn Vicious - vocals
Matt Sex - guitars
Jake - bass
Joel Division - drums

Hells Headbangers Records:

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