ROTHEADS – Sewer Fiends
Indeed, "The End Complete" steeped in "Leprosy" by the way of "Gothic", "Sewer Fiends" explodes with murky, heavy and deathly rhythms and catchy riffs doused with Gregor Macintosh-ian leads, particularly prevalent on the lengthy steamroller "The Mad Oracle Of Seweropolis". What made those classics so memorable was not just the guitars but the excellent, varied and memorable drumwork without which death metal is pointless and in here Matei "Potaie" Gheorghe does not dissapoint, most notably on my favorite "Rats In The Walls" (lyrically Lovecraftian) while Bogdan Spurkaciune and Bîrsatan’s booming Obituary-ish two bass attack ripps through the rolls and peals of delicious riffery, Spurkaciune, guitarist, bassist and John Tardy-like vocalist, apparently the creative soul of the group and likely frontman. The songwriting is superb, the production fantastic and the replayability is pure joy of metal.
"Sewer Fiends" has but one flaw – the tendency to belabor a riff, a structure, a song, particularly tedious on the aforementioned gargantuan slowburner "Seweropolis". But when the rest is as good as "From the Glowing Goo Rise" or the slightly Megadeth-ian closer "Dance Of The Vermin" who dares to complain?
Rotheads pleasantly surprised me with their debut. Pleasant on first listen, "Sewer Fiends" only grew into this competitive old school masterpiece with subsequent exposure, reminiscent of those ancient death metal beginnings when the genre was not characterized by overly technicality or skill but fresh, fun, edgy riffing and dark brooding melodic stench of cobwebbed pitch black graveyards in Lovecraftian allure.