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Rotting Kingdom - A Deeper Shade of Sorrow Award winner

Rotting Kingdom
A Deeper Shade of Sorrow
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 05 March 2020, 4:13 AM

ROTTING KINGDOM is a Death/Doom Metal band from Lexington, Kentucky.  “A Deeper Shade Of Sorrow,” is their first full length album but they also released an EP in 2017. Despite the often times heavy handed nature of Death/Doom, I find the genre can still work very well even if some melody is allowed into the abandoned light.  ROTTING KINGDOM certainty understands this as well, as “A Deeper Shade Of Sorrow,” is very well balanced with some really great melodic moments.

The first track, “Sculpted Into life By The Hand Of Death,” begins with Anton’s deep Death growls before melodic riffs open up the song.  Those harrowing growls burst from the seams with caustic lyrics but ride well enough over the song’s more melodic moments, a shining example of how well the band balances melody with sheer darkness.

About halfway through the song, the darkness descends with a throaty wail and the riffs just hammer down, beating the ears senseless with darkness.  After the solo, the growls return with some interesting psychedelic style guitar leads in the background.  The drums and bass play off this moment rather well, giving the song a youthful energy that isn’t all that common in this sub-genre.

Absolute Ruin,” shows off so many sides of the band that it quickly became my favorite track on the album.  The bass and drums circle the impending doom as they wait for the guitars to kick in.  All the instruments come together and lay down a sweltering blanket of Death/Doom that gets even heavier when the vocals kick in.  The tempo kicks in around the 3:20 mark, the band unafraid to speed up their rumbling Doom.  The clean melodic portion in the latter half of the song is the highlight.  It is an interesting moment because the song retains the darkness found in the beginning even though it is represented in a completely different light. The very soulful guitar near the track’s end caps it off nicely as it all fades to black.

The final, and title track, “A Deeper Shade of Darkness,” is very unique compared to the rest of the tracks.  The band infuses some rock and roll cadence into the riffs and the drums rhythm.  This song somewhat reminds me of a Doom version ENTOMBED’s “Death n Roll” style.  It is catchy without betraying anything the band has set up in the rest of the album but different enough to grab your attention and keep it there until the end.

ROTTING KINGDOM have crafted a highly impressive full-length debut—it isn’t often a band is this good this early, especially in such a crowded sub-genre.  Extreme Doom fans needs to keep an eye on this album—and the band’s future.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Sculpted Into Life By The Hand Of Death
2. Barren Harvest
3. Decrepit Elegance
4. Absolute Ruin
5. The Antechambers of Eternity
6. A Deeper Shade of Sorrow
Chuck McIntyre – Bass
Brandon Glancy – Drums
Kyle Keener – Guitars
Clay Rice – Guitars
Anton Escobar – Vocals
Record Label: Boris Records


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