Jools Green
The Abyss
17th October 2019


If you haven't yet heard of Rottendawn but enjoy a hearty chunk of Doom/Death Metal then it's time to get acquainted because their debut offering, 'Occult', meets that remit perfectly. It's dark, very dark indeed, yet has a harmonic quality balanced cleverly against the crushing Doom.

Hailing from the dark depths of Helsinki, Finland, Rottendawn boasts a seasoned line-up which includes Mikael Arnkil (Impaled Nazarene) on drums, along with project masterminds, guitarists Joni Halmetoja (Legacy) and Make Mäkinen (Protected Illusion, Sinisthra) and is completed by Pasi Äijö (Unholy) on vocals. They chose the album name 'Occult' as it "sums up the core meaning of the whole band which is operating in the deepest of the dark waters sonically, mentally and lyrically."


Soundwise the eight track 'Occult', which clocks up at over an hour's duration, takes on for the greater part a very traditional Doom/Death Metal sound that is as heavy as it is dark with at times a retro edge to the sound, particularly the beautifully bleak 'Dusk Demons' and the dark, heavy and utterly haunting 'Zero Lives Left' thanks to the well implemented use of keyboards and there is a decidedly groovy edge to the second half of 'Burn 'til Burial'.

The album also contains a surprise midway through in the shape of the very up-tempo, short, sharp, punk edged, d-beat rich and raw 'Ode To Pjotr' which I absolutely love and did not expect, pulling you out of the doom for its well packed, fifty-seven second duration.

At the opposite end of the scale, album title track 'Occult' clocks up at almost eleven minutes, with its slow burn start, haunting and reflective atmosphere taking on a more vitriolic and heavy edge just before midway. That doom rich slow burn remains smouldering at the core, ebbing and flowing between these two moods, making it a powerful album closer.

1. The Final Lament
2. Burn 'til Burial
3. Dusk Demons
4. Dawn Dwellers
5. Ode To Pjotr
6. Et Voi Taas Kuollakaan
7. Zero Lives Left
8. Occult

The cover art for 'Occult' was created by band's guitarist Make Mäkinen and it is out now digitally and as a CD on Saturnal Records and should be of great interest to fans of Unholy, Candlemass, Cathedral, Trouble, Asphyx, My Dying Bride and Anathema.



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