Rotting Kingdom is a new band from Lexington, Kentucky, that features current and former members of Tombstalker, whose music we’ve covered several times in the past. They’ve recorded a self-titled EP that is being released today, digitally and on tape, via Morbid Records, and we’re helping spread the word through the premiere of a full music stream.
The EP consists of three songs that entwine melodic doom and death metal to produce staggeringly bleak but seductive results, featuring beautifully bereaved dual-guitar performances, a crushing bass-and-drum tandem, and a vocalist whose growls are lower than ocean trenches.
I latched on to the EP’s opening track, “Adrift In A Sea of Souls“, when it first appeared and will paraphrase what I wrote then: It’s a tremendous song, mountainously heavy, often stunningly dismal, and thoroughly gripping. The moaning and wailing guitar harmonies at the outset are chilling, Anton Escobar’s vocals are downright abyssal (though he also occasionally howls like a rabid wolf), and when the band accelerate the pace after that beleaguered and crushing start the song turns into a massive headbanger. Near the end of this dynamic track, the band segue into a dual-guitar instrumental that’s disturbingly haunting and demented before ramping up again for a blood-rushing, head-hammering finish.
The follow-on track, “Castle of Decay“, does indeed have the aroma of decay hanging about it, its queasy melodies wafting around a lurching and lumbering rhythm and brutish, pounding riffs. It’s an oppressive number that groans as well as clobbers, but also shines with spectral light thanks to an attention-grabbing guitar solo.
The third track, “Demons In Stained Glass” is the longest of the three, coming in just shy of 10 minutes. A despondent melodic motif comes in early and reappears like a phantom, but in its opening minutes the song is a destructive juggernaut that becomes increasingly crazed thanks to a duet between deranged guitar and bone-mangling bass. The cold weight of doom eventually descends, dragging the song into a tarry pit of moaning hopelessness and keening grief, with Escobar’s cavernous growls further shivering the skin, and a pair of soulful extended guitar solos deepening music’s atmosphere of mortifying loss.
Listen to our stream of this fine EP below, and pre-order here:
Order on Bandcamp:
Rotting Kingdom on Facebook: