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Album Review

In Finland, you would be hard-pressed to find an extreme metal band that is more extreme than Rotten Sound. Since their inception in the early '90s, Rotten Sound has favored a violent, claustrophobic, mercilessly abrasive style of death metal/grindcore — and the moshers show no sign of softening their blows on Murderworks. This 2002 release gives the listener no room to breathe; from start to finish, Murderworks is an exercise in sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault. Rotten Sound almost always plays at the same tempo — insanely fast — and the Scandinavians don't pretend to be even the least bit melodic. Like previous Rotten Sound releases, Murderworks is one-dimensional. After you have heard the opening number, "Targets," you've pretty much heard it all; headbangers who like their metal albums with a lot of variety won't find it here. But despite the CD's obvious limitations, Murderworks is, in its own way, exhilarating — that is, if you have a taste for this type of extreme metal. To be sure, death metal/grindcore releases as ferocious and amelodic as Murderworks are an acquired taste. Bands like Rotten Sound are not everyone's cup of tea, which is why the Finns have never even come to mainstream acceptance — not in Europe, not in Japan, not in the United States. But the band has, since the early '90s, enjoyed a small underground cult following, and those are the people who Murderworks caters to. This album breaks no new ground for the band; nonetheless, it will probably appeal to the select few who like the Finnish moshers exactly like this — limitations and all.


Formed: 1993 in Vaasa, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Finland, like most countries, has its mainstream, middle-of-the-road pop stars (people who sound like Celine Dion or Gloria Estefan singing in Finnish) as well as its musical extremists who cater to the underground; and rock doesn't get much more extreme and underground than Rotten Sound. In the '90s and 2000s, Rotten Sound has favored a brutally harsh, violent, angry, and ferocious approach to death metal/black metal and grindcore. There is nothing merciful about Rotten Sound's blistering albums,...
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Murderworks, Rotten Sound
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