2005 Willowtip Records, Spinefarm Records
02. Burden MP3
03. Sell Your Soul
08. Mass Suicide
10. Fail and Fall
13. Western Cancer
18. Running Weak
Fans of grindcore should be familiar with Rotten Sound already. For the previously unacquainted, Exit is the fifth album in seven years for Finland's lords of brutality. In their eleven year career, they have made quite a name for themselves on both sides of the ocean and Exit may very well be the record that propels them in the eyes of fans to the heights of groups like Pig Destroyer or Nasum.
While the formula here is relatively tried and true grind, the unrelenting speed and intensity of Rotten Sound is what sets them apart. There are extended periods of time on Exit when the drums rival the speed of the programmed drums of Agoraphobic Nosebleed. To be honest, the bass drumming is so fast that it actually was physically sickening. I once listened to this disc three times in a row and felt a bit queasy afterwards. Thankfully, Rotten Sound relies on more than their speed alone. The guitars seem to be heavily inspired by 80's thrash and the catchiness of the songs is a definite reflection of this.
My favorite thing about this disc was that despite being a relatively straight-forward grind disc, Rotten Sound weren't afraid to throw some twists in on tracks like "Slay," which was essentially one giant metal breakdown, or "Soil," which easily wins my vote for most effective use of a tambourine on a metal record, ever. Moreover, the relatively melodic vocals on "Nation" were an unexpected and welcome addition to Rotten Sound's already impressive repertoire.
The whole record is under thirty minutes, but listening to it is absolutely exhausting. The listener is shown absolutely no mercy as the band crams eighteen tracks of solid pulsing death metal in without more than a few seconds' pause until the last few minutes when the interlude "XXI" leads into the powerful closer "Running Weak." The disc feels incredibly raw and visceral, in much the same way that bands like Napalm Death were recorded nearly two decades ago and more recently, sounding very similar to the production utilized by death/grind supergroup Venomous Concept.
Bottom Line: This is grindcore with something more to offer. I'm not personally the most diehard fan of the genre, but I find myself listening to this disc as often as physically possible. I've probably given this disc more spins in the last month than any metal record in recent memory and will undoubtedly continue to do so for a long time. Their execution and talent is on par with the best in the genre and their songwriting shows depth and genuine creativity. Rotten Sound's Exit is one of the best records I've heard so far this year.