Nothing quite encapsulates the darkness of this world quite like Perth’s HM-2 drenched Behemoth successors Earth Rot. Besides the fact that all four members of the band look like they come from different backgrounds of Metal aesthetically speaking, they couldn’t sound more in unison on their new offering, titled “Black Tides of Obscurity”. Their recent output consisting of two EP’s, “Dirt” and “Chthonian Virtues”, and two LP’s, “Follow the Black Smoke”, and “Renascentia” hopefully merely show a portion of what the band is capable of. After witnessing their brutal assault (fyi, they need to feature on that festival) on their recent Australian tour dubbed the “Dread Rebirth tour” named after the first single, they seem like they have a lot more to offer this time ‘round. So, is their potential for Metal super-stardom fully realised here?
Left to right: Colin Dickie, D.J. Maloney, Jared Bridgeman and Tom Slaughterhouse.
Starting off the album is the aforementioned first single, “Dread Rebirth”. This song just about captures everything Earth Rot are and what they will (or should) become. The pummelling seemingly continues with “New Horns”, a track that could’ve been pulled straight from the almighty album-of-last-decade, Behemoth’s “The Satanist.” While it is a good album to be compared against, these moments in the album can be very hit-and-miss in my opinion. While at times, evident in “Dread Rebirth” and “Ancestral Vengeance”, some songs on “Black Tides of Obscurity” hit absolutely and brutally hard. But moments such as “Unravelling Vapour of Sanity” seem to make me disinterested in the album. Then there are tracks that start to pick up part-of-the-way through, which is evident on tracks such as “The Cape of Storms” and “Mind Killer”.
As sporadic as the quality gets on “Black Tides of Obscurity,” there is one thing that remains constantly flawless throughout, and that’s the performances. Tom Slaughterhouse’s sense of nuanced Metal song writing and subtle leads make him a master of his craft, whether it’s a hit or a miss. Colin Dickie’s tasteful leads and melancholic guitar fills make a substantial and positive difference to the soundscape of the record, whether it’s supposed to be epic or brutally dark. Jared Bridgeman’s bass playing through the album, whilst not being a Cliff Burton level of genius, is still holding the fort way more than most international bands nowadays. His vocal ideas are also quite varied and of high quality through-out the entire record, while still maintaining the power a front man needs in order to appeal to a Metal audience. But in my eyes, above all, D.J. Maloney’s performance on “Black Tides of Obscurity” is absolutely incredible. His sense of variation, groove and ear for serving the music (i.e. where it’s appropriate to do certain beats) makes the album that much more musically genius.
Really, at the end of the day, the music always comes first and the fact that the band sound so tight on “Black Tides of Obscurity” gives me more than some hope that Earth Rot will become extremely successful. Hey, it took pretty much 10 years for Behemoth to make a name for themselves, it won’t take much longer for Earth Rot to accomplish that as well.
Also, please support Earth Rot and any other band at this time of need! We’re in a very grim situation right now, and some of the bands you know and love work exclusively by touring and selling merchandise. Please, please, please, by some merch from your favourite bands to keep the scene alive under this time of uncertainty!