6 Jul 2013

Stranglion Rot - Rotten Heart of Evil [Full length] (2012, Fatal Judgement Records)

It's no secret that Finland is home to a large cache of great death metal bands, and the scene as a whole seems to benefit from a gloomy, doom-inspired grittiness. Stranglion Rot is a one-man project in which the man Hietala is behind everything.

Though the band is a Finnish one the music in itself has a more Swedish feel to it than many other bands from this regional scene and realies more on sheer riffing and d-beats rather than chugging heaviness. Though the vocals are generally weak and the songwriting suffers from what seems like inexperience Hietala gets the message of death across due to the hellish catchiness of the guitar riffs.

With most solo projects there is one part that always dominates in terms of quality and skill. Like many other bands of this type the drums suffer from being played or programmed by someone who isn't a well-versed drummer, and the lack of imagination and variation, both in regards to speed and fill-ins, is a striking deficiency that detracts from the overall image of the album. Another thing is the bland production which together with the other elements mentioned above further numbs down the experience otherwise ensured by the main attraction, the guitar riffs.

It's a pleasing experience listening to the riffs of Rotten Heart of Evil, a name only fitting of the atmosphere of the album. It's a shame for the material to be weighed down by boring drumming and vocals, because it really deserves more and would benefit a lot from being accompanied by skilled musicians. All in all an effort that leaves some to be wanted, but delivered with enough engagement and zeal to make up for some of it. 7/10 guitars.

1. Nightmare Begins
2. Message Written in Blood
3. The Gathering
4. Through the Valley of Despair
5. Rotten Heart of Evil
6. Cauldron of Gore
7. Impaled
8. Clouds Drifting Away

Visit STRANGLION ROT's official site and download Rotten Heart of Evil

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