Album Review: Earth Rot - Black Tides Of Obscurity
Artist: Earth Rot
Album: Black Tides Of Obscurity
Genre: Deathened Black Metal
Review by Will Oakeshott
Morbid Angel’s Covenant, Deftones’ White Pony and Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast all have two incredible similarities amongst their differences. Besides the obvious affinity of being landmark albums in the history of heavy metal music; all three of these albums are in fact, the respected bands’ third studio album. This isn’t the fascinating characteristic though, intriguingly all of these records are the releases that are still either the outfits’ most successful album, or the LP that sent each group into a new stratosphere of prosperity and worldwide recognition.
So what does this detail have to do with Perth’s Earth Rot and their new album Black Tides Of Obscurity? For the self proclaimed deathened black metal (it's a thing now) quartet this soon-to-be-released opus will be their third full-length and first for heavy weight extreme metal record label Season Of Mist, which is an astounding achievement in itself. The honest “taco made by Chuck Schuldiner” facet is that this LP will assuredly be their launchpad into the next echelon of international extreme metal adoration - believe you me, Black Tides Of Obscurity is an absolute triumph.
Admittedly Earth Rot’s new album is not on the level of the aforementioned bands’ historic creations of art; but realistically they should not be compared. The above examples are used as a platform to portray the growth and sophistication the four-piece have crafted and this scribe, publication and the outfit themselves are most likely ecstatic to see where this remarkable creation could potentially take them.
The flawless spiraling of blackened death metal Earth Rot execute throughout the ten tracks on the new record are astounding. Recalling releases such as Inter Arma’s The Cavern or Gorguts’ Pleaides Dust are justified comparisons for the diversity and exceptional vocal delivery by Jared Bridgeman, as well as divergent fluctuations throughout the heavy music scope by the band. The real distinguishing factor is that although these comparisons are ones of remarkable stature, there is so much more to Black Tides Of Obscurity that it is almost frightening in the most beautifully deformed way possible.
“New Horns” would most likely make Abbath either partially jealous or (hopefully) invite Earth Rot to tour in the not too distant future (see September’s touring schedule for the ex-Immortal member); “Towards A Godless Shrine” is the sequel to Marduk’s “The Blond Beast” but more obscene and robust. More impressively “The Cape Of Storms” has an Entombed death’n’roll interlude which has frankly been missed from this soundscape.
“Serpent’s Ocean” and “Mind Killer” are THE nightmare anthems thus far of 2020; in all probability this is the most vulgar and evil Earth Rot has sounded and they are, simply put, exHELLarating. “Unravelling Vapour And Sanity” ventures into the more spiritual element of blackened death metal, there is a liturgical chant effect included, not a portrayal or near what Batushka pioneered, just a hint that Earth Rot are more than three-dimensional with their formula.
To close this exemplary expedition is the curveball: “Out In The Cloud”. It is an unpleasant-cheap-whiskey-evil-hymn that is purely a revelation. Negral has Me And That Man and Book Of Black Earth member TJ Cowgill became King Dude - this is on that degree of greatesque (a combination of “great” and “grotesque” if confused) and it should be celebrated as thankfully Earth Rot have done.
In summation: The opening track “Dread Rebirth” to this exceptional full-length includes the lyrics: “Pointing To The Fires Above” - with Black Tides Of Obscurity, Earth Rot may not be pointing to the above, but matter-of-factly, creating that fury.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Black Tides Of Obscurity will be released March 6th via Season Of Mist.
Pre-orders available here: https://earthrot.com.au/