ROTTEN SOUND: Drain (Repulse 1999)
The sky is grey. My headache applies to some serious killing business, I have the motherload of all work to do before me, plus, it is 'winter'. Piss on all that, the ground is slushy and brown - according to my calendars it's December - and I could give less about anything. Although I doubt that Rotten Sound will do any good, I find cure enough in that at least someone else is doing jam time as well.
Being a serious cultgrinder with various praised ep's behind them, Rotten Sound have now reached onto killing works with their second album, Drain. Mika Aalto, one of the two guitarists in Rotten Sound 1999, agrees on that Drain is not the greatest cult destroyer released.
"No, and that's not the point of the album. How can one even define what is a cult destroyer, since, for instance, someone might consider something like Anneli Saaristo's Christmas collection to be a cult destroyer. We are pretty satisfied with the results of the one-week recording session in Sunlight studios, although there's always room for improvement. It's also 'difficult' to go to a new studio, as you don't know what you can achieve there and how the 'studiospirit' is."
"The sound of the album is indeed a little Entombed, but we never intended to make an Entombed sounding album with Drain. It just came naturally because we used the same equipment as Dismember, Entombed, etc. when they were recording. Surely I think the Entombed/Dismember guitar sound is the best in the world!"
So you're not pissed off because of these compariments?
"No, they don't get on us at all, 'cause we do the kind of music we feel like. Of course everyone will compare the sound in the beginning, but the actual music is the same it would've been if this album had been recorded in Tico Tico. Rotten Sound has certainly gotten heavier, because Under Pressure was a little numbing with its midtempo and lengthy duration. But this 'renewal' doesn't mean we'll get softer (?) with every new album!
"At the moment we have already five new songs written for our third full-length album, and they're all solid grind... In February we will head to Astia studios to record the album, it's sort of a compilation with something like six new tracks and Loosin Face and Psychotic Veterinarian remastered."
How do you see the addition of a second guitarist will change the musical capabilities and duties of Rotten Sound? Nothing big, I guess.
"It will make no special differences, since I still write all the songs... some solos would've not been possible without Juha. The gigs are more fun to play since there's more power to it, and so on."
By the way, where do the black metal comparisons of your record label come from? I certainly can't see any relation...
"The black metal comparisons might have something to do with Keijo's singing style. But the music ain't black metal, eventhough we almost all listen to it! Nowadays the style is, yes, to compare everything to black metal, all you have to include is a little taka-taka komppia and screaming... but fuck, that's no black metal! It's amusing to see bands like Children Of Bodom labelled black metal... heh."
See further evidence from guitarist Aalto's hideous black metal band Black Dawn recording for Necropolis Records in April.
One specific track that stole my sympathies was of course Abusement Park... To end a cliched chat in a cliched way: What is the story behind this song? It's vocalist Keijo who answers:
"There's been times of opress and the song crosses those feelings basically in aid of amusement park metaphores. However, the unconscious meaning of the track could be a fact that at least I have noticed, that opress - in this case self-caused opress, that's where the 'abusement' comes from - can actually produce some pleasure, like tough songs and lyrics. Also, we can never forget convenient afterward pondering of the lyrics in, for instance, magazine interviews..."
(6) To destroy the cannibal birds of the Lake Stymphalis