Release Date: December 12th, 2012
Label: Dark Empire Records
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After something of a midlife crisis following the departure of vocalist, Nathan Bean, Rot In Hell have returned to form on new EP, ‘Termini Terrae’. Their debut release on the recently revived Dark Empire Records, this time run by Max Hellion, sees the band continue to sharpen their jagged take on Holy Terror hardcore, forgoing any polish altogether.
Title track ‘Termini Terrae’ kicks off proceedings in a no-bullshit fashion, guitarists POI and Atko blazing into earshot, soon to be met by new frontman Ian Leck. Leck brings his honed style to proceedings, unlike his forebear, nonetheless making the role his own; he has a distinctly gritty, anguished style well matched to the fury of the lyrics he spits.
Much like their previous work, this isn’t inarticulate, raw hatred. This is refined, concentrated passion, not above haughty references to mythology, painting hellish dreamscapes of a world well and truly gone wrong. The release to this tension is the ending breakdown, sure to get the dance-floors raging- well, possibly, it is after all RIH we’re talking about here. Replace ‘sure’ with ‘deserving.’
The song bleeds into ‘Carrion Dawn For Vultures’. It’s much to the same effect as the previous tune, before descending into the sort of melodic segue which has divided this band from so many of their canon. Indeed, whilst being a popular and somewhat easy style to adopt, it’s the differences brought about which really separate the men from the boys. The final acoustic ruminations are another example of this, and an aspect which the band have admirably built upon.
Whilst lacking the soulful vocals of POI, it nonetheless builds up the atmosphere for ‘Black Edelweiss’. The best feature of this track is the unchained thrash solo of the end, capping off another trial in prime metallic hardcore. This is before the instruments morph into dizzying hypnotic noise, the sort that keeps Boyd Rice in work.
Swooping, atonal, not a word spoken yet so descriptive of the band as an entity. Elaborate, indecipherable. Heavy. On ‘Termini Terrae’, the quintet have once again proven their worth in a very busy field. For all their apathetic live shows, they’ve nonetheless done a brisk trade on the Dark Empire webstore; a fitting result for both a band and a label back on the brink. Welcome back.
Written by Fin Murphy