Rotten Sound - Rhythm Room - May 15
Nineteen-ninety-three saw the birth of Korn, Jimmy Eat World, Jurassic 5, At the Drive-In, the Crystal Method, and Shaq's hip-hop career. A more obscure name to arrive that year was Rotten Sound, a Finland-rooted grindcore four-piece currently celebrating its big 2-0 with big things.
Along with international touring and festival appearances, the perpetually stone-faced metalheads delivered the EP Species of War -- their first major release since 2011 full-length Cursed -- in January. As is to be expected with anything Rotten Sound gets its hands on, Species is an onslaught of thick, planet-crushing guitars, blast-beat drumming, and frantic vocals spat at an impossibly fast clip. There really is no question why this group once dedicated an entire EP to covering Napalm Death, considering both bands' styles fixate so fiercely on an utterly bleak brand of relentlessness.
Remarkably, Rotten vocalist Keijo Niinimaa wants his squad to get even faster with age -- a lofty goal considering Species already squeezes six songs into eight minutes. "I'd rather say that the faster parts are even more aggressive than before [than that they are slower]," he said in a 2011 interview. "I guess we're just speed junkies." -- Reyan Ali