From the moment you start listening to Earth Rot’s sophomore full-length, Renascentia, you’d be forgiven for thinking: “Alright, this is going to be some dark, fast and furious death metal”. But it’s probably best to prepare yourself for a few deviations from this prematurely conceived opinion, because, while at its core it’s a blackened death metal album that is bursting with the wonderful sounds of blast beats, tremolo picking, technical guitar work, and devastating vocals, it also presents some undeniably catchy grooves and a few very unexpected turns.
The opening track, “Terraform”, takes around 4 seconds to start belting your ears with snare hits, but by the end of “The Ancient Fire” you are also reminded somewhat of a darker version of the death metal that was kicking around Sweden in the late 1980s.
We are then transported to the astounding craftsmanship and technicality of “Waves of the Blackest Mire”, which the band have released a rather racy video for. A must watch if you enjoy heavy music paired with barely-clad, serpent-garbed human bodies.
The middle of the album makes for some really great listening with the almost doom metal feeling you get from parts of “Anachronous Oath”, along with the supreme riffage and contrasted melody and brutality of “Bestial Shadow Forest”. The real jewel in the crown of the album’s mid-section, though, is “The Bones That Lay Beneath The Earth”. The eerie background music with the distorted vocals set the scene perfectly for the succeeding (and completely unanticipated) saxophone solo by guest artist, Jørgen Munkeby of the Norwegian avant-garde act, Shining.
Closing the album out are the blistering string work coupled with the captivatingly unexpected acoustic guitar that is featured on “Funeral Pyre”, the Entombed-esque death ‘n’ roll of “Condemned to The Grave”, and the culmination of the exceptional musicianship and valor that whipped us up and took us on this fantastic journey, the almost-6-minute-long finale, “Unfurled, The Cover of Darkness”.
Overall, this is a seriously good album created by an enormously talented group of people that deserves to be listened to from start to finish time and time again.
The band’s music can be found here: http://earthrot.com.au/album/renascentia
And here’s a link to the video for “Waves of The Blackest Mire”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1wGc7GsNC8