Lay Down Rotten – Deathspell Catharsis


    As viciously aggressive and destructively accomplished as ever, German death metallers Lay Down Rotten unleash their newest tempest of provocation in the brutal shape of Deathspell Catharsis. The follow-up to the excellent Mask Of Malice of 2012, the Herborn hailing quintet reaps its impressive essences and twists them into the most creative and malevolently resourceful violation from the band yet. Released via the band’s new home Apostasy Records, the ten track beast is the band’s finest moment to date, stretching their invention to new realms without losing the core death metal toxicity which has made them such a persistently formidable proposition over close to fifteen years.

     Mask Of Malice, though with a few issues left the appetite bulging with its barbaric obliteration of the senses. It was not something to worry boundaries and existing heights of death metal but an aggressor which gave the genre a certain shot in the arm. Deathspell Catharsis does the same, but this time with a much more adventurous intent really pushes and explores the band’s creative depths. Equally the release finds a heavier darker tempestuous presence than its predecessor, the band breeding an even more intensive brutality from within which sonic endeavour and imagination excels. Once more linking up with Thilo Krieger at his Desert Inn Studio, Lay Down Rotten has uncaged a new beast from within, an album which it is not hard to get over enthused about.

    Deathspell Catharsis makes an impressive entrance with opener Cassandras Haunting and the following title track, cdarc016_ldr_dc_300dpithough in hindsight the pair are slightly underwhelming in comparison to what follows. The first is a seven minute journey through rigorous and intimidating textures; the initial restrained guitar crafted melodic coaxing within a brewing of atmospheric intensity not alone for long as towering rhythms from drummer Timo Claas provoke the affair. Expanding its sonic arms with the guitars of Daniel Seifert and Nils Förster carving an enticing web of intrigue and adventure, the song is soon soaked in a nagging swarm of rhythms and riffs which rapidly follow. The vocals of Jost Kleinert are as insidiously provocative as ever, his rasping squall backed just as venomously by the tones of Seifert, both make intimidating allies to the equally imposing sounds. Intensive and compelling, the track is a mighty lure into the release, skill and passion drenching the encounter but also lacking the same spark which marks the emerging tracks within Deathspell Catharsis. The title track is equally hard to fault with its rampaging riffery and unrelenting rhythmic rapaciousness but also misses finding the same bait which marks its successors. Nevertheless the song is a powerful and wholly convincing pleasure seizing attention and appetite with ease.

    The album makes its first addictively toxic strike with Schädelberg. The track wakes the ears with tortuous violence before erupting in a blaze of acidic riffing and sonic expression from the guitars, the bass of Uwe Killian bringing a malevolent dark presence to this riveting start. There is a bestial feel to the intent and volatile breath of the song but one which is happy to wrap itself around the melodically fuelled yet predatory imagination of the song. The merger of inventive spices and inspiring sounds from within the death metal body of the track grabs curiosity and emotions as does the contagion which is brewing throughout and makes its most forceful play once the song is well into its stance. Closing on a virulence which steals full submission, the song makes way for the similarly masterful The Fever. Group vocals call in the senses first before the leviathan weight and energy of the track expels a raptorial breath alongside a march of commanding hungry rhythms and riffs seduce. It is an exhaustive onslaught which as the previous song uncages the full extent of the new bold adventure within the band’s sound.

    Following the respite of the brief but skilled melodic instrumental Release Into Nothingness, the album returns to unleashing its ravenous jaws with the excellent Zombiefied Electrified and the even more outstanding Among The Ruins Of A Once Glorious Temple. The first is a nagging merciless storm of sonic pestilence which is unafraid to twist around and flail the ears with esurient maliciousness whilst the second is a stalking combatant from its early persuasion which cannot restrain for long an inspiring waspish groove which in turns fires up riffs and rhythms into another infectious surge of animosity and creative enterprise. As the album, the song just gets more potent and commanding with each encounter, the guitar imagination of Förster sirenesque at times and just as impressively complemented by the insatiable craft of Seifert.

    The album continues to captivate and impress as both Infernal Agony and Blood On Wooden Crosses avail the senses and passions of their individual musical and lyrical ‘warmongering’, the constantly impressing bass of Kilian stealing its finest intrusive hour on the album in the first of the pair. As the closing Blasphemous Rituals For The Perverted Flesh unleashes the final torrential fury of spite and blistering intensity aligned to exciting imagination, Deathspell Catharsis stands as a momentous and towering moment in the history of Lay Down Rotten, providing death metal with one of its first pinnacles of 2014. The band sounds like they are entering a new dramatic chapter in their existence which on the evidence of this is going to be something special.


RingMaster 10/02/2014

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2 replies

  1. LayDown Rottern, hit the world with a new attack.
    Ooops! brutal death meta that I hate it!


  1. World addressing furies: an interview with Jost Kleinert of Lay Down Rotten | The RingMaster Review

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