Wretch-Survival of the Rotten album review. FFO: Abrasive grind/hardcore/death metal.


Wretch-Survival of the Rotten album review. FFO: Abrasive grind/hardcore/death metal. This flesh-ripping album drops next week and I just love how Aussie metal is way better than its overseas counterparts over the last few years. Survival of the Rotten is a raging classic album that doesn't disappoint.

Here's the release info and background from the label:

Recorded by the legendary Tom Sigal at Def Wolf Studios in Sydney at the height of the COVID pandemic, Survival of the Rotten is the fourth release from Wretch - the first since the 2015 album Tirades.
Their most diverse offering yet, Survival of the Rotten explores new territory with varied influences ranging from sludge and hardcore to traditional grind. It’s a harsh, unrelenting message of hate delivered with a patented Wretch tongue-in-cheek smirk. Downtuned Records will debut the band on 12” vinyl.
Tracks have been mastered specifically for the vinyl format, and this limited first pressing of 150 copies is pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

I have to agree the spread of style hits the mark with mostly abrasive grind but tons of hardcore/death metal influence. The cool thing is, for me this is one that totally reminds me of that amazing period of Australian hardcore/metal in the '90s where bands flawlessly combined these styles like Warp Spasm, Subversion and Damaged etc. The album is nasty, fast and clever in its focus. The album is flat-out 7 tracks of hectic grind/hardcore with some death metal/power violence influence. The majority are under 2 minutes and designed for moshpit mayhem. But even with the insane tempo,there are some cool moments that are almost sludge/doom metal influenced and that makes this album have more meat on its bones. Gotta give it to Downtuned records for having released nothing but straight bangers so far. The four tracks that make up side one of the vinyl release are just chaotic raging tracks. All are classics and you can tell the band is made up of dudes who know their stuff; because just playing fast isn't complex to do, but every song is well written and very focused. Breathing Redundancy is my fave out of those four rippers. The vocals are demonic and fit well into the groove this track has. It's almost a bit emotive in a psychotic way, but the hooks are huge on this. Side 2 kicks off with the best track of this release the monolithic Lambs to the Noose, this eases in with some almost doomy jazz vibes and dwells in that mode for some time. And by doing so, showcases the skills of this band. They can do fast and slow equally proficiently and can write some longer tracks. Is one style better than the other, I don't care because they do both so well. This also has a seriously insane sample towards the end of the track that adds even more grim charm to this classic track. Thoughts_Prayers quickly jumps into the 90's hardcore/metal gold type aggression in case you thought the end of the album was slowing down. The Rat King is another fave of mine that channels so many great bands like Pig Destroyer, Mindsnare and even Napalm Death. This is the best way to end an album on thick riffs and gnarly vocals. Whilst I'd love probably ten more tracks of this hard-edged metal, the songs on this are all damn sensational. Highly recommend this killer album.

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