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Rottendawn – Occult Award winner

by Liam Easley at 03 September 2019, 3:42 PM

It’s not often that a band in the Doom/Death Metal genre stands out as original. Enter ROTTENDAWN, a Finnish band to release their debut full-length, “Occult” on Sep. 6, 2019. With plenty of heavy riffs and destructive passages, this album will be a treat to many.

Dawn Dwellers” was one of the singles released for this album, and it is definitely one of the strongest songs presented. With a crushingly heavy rhythm backed by an intense melody, the song exists to destroy. Groovy, fast passages give depth to the track as the strong outro shows their capability in keeping a reoccurring theme alive no matter what.

Most tracks on this album follow a similar theme as “Dawn Dwellers”: very epic melodies fortified by crushing, rhythmic riffing. “The Final Lament” introduces the album like this, and there is not a better song that could have opened the album. With a perfect amount of everything they offer and great riffs and melodies to back it up, the song is relentless.

Et Voi Taas Kuollakaan” is one of the best examples of songwriting on this album. While the song is not one of my immediate favorites, there is a quality that is very evident throughout. The song revolves around two main parts for a while, and each time the parts appear they are different in some way. The song doesn’t have a lot, but the band did everything they could for what they had. It is a perfect example of the band’s great songwriting capabilities.

With songs ranging from six to 10 minutes, this album can be very daunting. However, the music doesn’t ever get old. In fact, I was personally very curious to see what happened next. This album kept me engaged instead of bored. Each track has an identity, and that is what keeps this album going. The album wraps down to “Occult”, the epic, atmospheric opus that brings the album to a dramatic close.

Occult” is a crushing album that is not for the faint of heart. Combining uplifting yet somehow simultaneously melancholic melodies with heavy riffs and impeccable songwriting, this album will steamroll its way to many end-of-the-year lists.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Final Lament
2. Burn ‘til Burial
3. Dusk Demons
4. Dawn Dwellers
5. Ode to Pjotr
6. Et Voi Taak Kuollakaan
7. Zero Lives Left
8. Occult
Pasi Äijö – Bass & Vocals
Joni Halmetoja – Guitars
Make Mäkinen – Guitars
Mikael Arnkil – Drums
Record Label: Saturnal Records


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Edited 24 March 2023

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