Rotten Sounds, Decent Album
For their first full-length album with Relapse Records, Finnish grindcore act Rotten Sound has certainly entered with a bang. Whether this "bang" is a good thing or not is entirely up to the listener. No, grindcore is not my favorite genre of music by a longshot, but Rotten Sound generally delivers the sound well on Cursed. I'm sure this album will not only satisfy the band's faithful, but also open the gates for a whole new legion of fans. I can't say I was overly-impressed by Rotten Sound's sixth album, but denying its quality would be cutting them short. I'm sure there's an audience out there for Cursed - unfortunately, I'm not part of it.
The music on Cursed is a cross between grindcore and death metal, landing somewhere in Napalm Death and Nasum territory. As such, this isn't anything terribly unique, but Rotten Sound delivers the style confidently and professionally. My biggest issue with Cursed is that the album develops a "samey" feeling about halfway through. I consider myself lucky if I can recall more than 2 riffs after hearing the album, which is surprising considering the amount of riffs here. They just aren't recognizable when put next to each other, and that's a major issue in my opinion. This is partially due to a lack of variation, and partially due to (I hate to stereotype here) the underdeveloped songwriting that seems to plague many grindcore releases. Maybe I'm being a bit too harsh, but that's honestly how I feel. This album isn't without its positives, though. The musicianship is impeccable, and the drumming from Sami Latva is breathtaking (to say the least). The man is simply a bundle of energy, and that can also be said about the rest of the band. The production is also a major asset to the album, boasting a raw yet developed mix that I think is excellent.
Although Cursed is a high-quality album, it simply doesn't move me in any way. People who consider themselves fans of Rotten Sound should dig this one, though I find my mind wondering excessively - that's not a good sign when the entire album barely exceeds the 29 minute mark. There's certainly an audience out there for this album, so a 2.5 star rating is deserved. Avid grindcore fans can even add an extra star to my middle-of-the-road rating. Very few grindcore albums completely win me over, and Cursed hasn't quite reached that mark. Still, it's a competent album; hence my decent rating.