Australia has a vibrant and diverse metal scene, with great bands across a broad range of genres. I know this with the rational part of my brain, the part that tries to observe and remember. But when I think of Australian metal, I admit that I tend to reflexively think first of death metal, and in particular the kind of death metal that resembles what you hear about all the flora and fauna in the Outback, i.e., that everything is trying to kill you.
Earth Rot come from Perth, Australia. They are a death metal band, but not a straight-forward, undiluted death metal band, as you will discover when you listen to the title track we’re premiering from their new EP, Chthonian Virtues.
This is the band’s third release overall, following their debut EP Dirt and their first album The Black Smoke, both of which appeared in 2014. Chthonian Virtues houses five songs, and while it’s true that they’re all indeed trying to kill you, listening to them is an exhilarating experience for other reasons besides that one.
The vocalist’s proclamations in this title track have a tyrannical air, and the music behind him his equally militaristic and merciless. It’s a whirlwind of deep, threshing sound — tearing, pummeling, disorienting. There are bursts of soloing in the song, as if a djinn’s lamp has been thoughtlessly uncapped, and a raging spirit has been loosed upon the world. If there is something wanting in this fleet flood of ferocity, it’s only that it’s too short. If there’s an extra spice in the brevity, it’s that it beckons you to play it again… which is so easy and so compulsive a thing to do. This is the kind of slaughtering you need, like a black nectar on your tongue.
Chthonian Virtues features cover art by Septian at Illustranesia and it will be released on April 11 (CD and digital download). Pre-order it via the Bandcamp link below.