Lay Down Rotten

Gospel of the Wretched

Written by: AB on 18/08/2009 00:16:42

Lay Down Rotten is a German death metal band, which might also help explain why I have not encountered this outfit before - Germany simply does not have a big death metal scene. However, one should think that I at the very least had heard of the band considering that Lay Down Rotten have been around since 1999, and that they, with "Gospel of the Wretched", have churned out 5 full lengths since 2003. Anyway, on further inspection it seems that I haven't missed out on much by omitting the band before.

You see, what's in the bag for us in "Gospel of the Wretched" is very standard pure death metal meets melodeath. This isn't to say it's bad. It just isn't very good - or rather, very interesting. Sure, all the guys know their thang; the guitars are handled well, good, but maybe too tinkered-with vocals, we even get a little bass here and there and the drums are blasting. Pretty standard fare truth be told. What they do well, though, is creating very nice melodies without going all the way into pure melodic death metal territory. Imagine early Arch Enemy with less solos and real growls, and a modern production/sound and you wouldn't be too far off. The problem is that while the occasional solo and lead are pretty cool, and even though the general melodies are very nice indeed, the riffs throughout are not exciting. As in: not exciting at all. When I listen to this album it is impossible to tell which song is which song, because it feels like one really long track.

So, all in all, a somehow well crafted, but eventually rather uninteresting album by these German veterans. This album shows how painfully obvious it is that a band needs more than technical proficiency in order to create good music - song writing skill is needed so very very much...! Lastly though, it does seem that Lay Down Rotten has learned something other than how to play their instruments during their 10 year long career - they (and their sound guys) know how get a good sound. The guitar tone is a joy to witness throughout, and it is kinda sad to see it wasted on an ultimately futile album.


Download: Gospel of the Wretched, Thy Won't Be Done
For the fans of: early Arch Enemy

Release date: 12.05.2009
Metal Blade

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