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Mal de Vivre


Artist: Red Rot
Label: Svart Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 26 August 2022

Svart Records releases Mal de Vivre (meaning losing the taste for life), the debut album by Italian Extreme Metal band Red Rot. The band was formed by Luciano Lorusso George and Davide Tiso, formerly of Ephel Duath, and completed by Ron Bertrand on drums and Ian Baker on bass. Described as a blend of early Morbid Angel, Paradise Lost and Voivod, the record was written, recorded and mixed between October 2020 and May 2021 by producer Jamie King at Basement Studio in Salem, North Carolina, whilst the world still reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their name, Red Rot, relates to the vegetable-tanned leather of old books which eventually rotted into itself in the manner of sulphuric acid. The damage caused by red rot is irreversible, and Tiso likes to think Red Rot can do the same. Themes of mental illness, psychological deviance, rage, gloom and paranoia are explored with agonised conviction...

Track List: 'Ashes'; 'Undeceased'; 'Near Disaster'; 'Everlasting Creature'; 'After the Funeral'; 'Alpha Predator'; 'Greatest Failure'; 'Behind the Secret'; 'Conversation With the Demon'; 'Dualism'; 'Emotional Neglect'; 'Gruesome Memento'; 'Dishonourably Discharged'; 'Maelstrom'; 'Dysmorphia'; 'Under Attack'; and 'Peregrin'.

A moderate-paced menace piece introduces us to the band via clean and growled vocals, discordant guitars and changeable drums which dictate the changes in pace. There is certainly a diverse crossover of Metal sub-genres present here. The tone of growled vocals, for me, often dictates whether or not I’m going to the like the entire sound of the combo. Here, they are comfortable listening to anyone used to the concept. I like the disparaging conflict of pace and vocal style. Amongst the Thrash, Death, and Black influences can be found Goth Metal in the style of Paradise Lost, and even Jazz! However, rather than individualising the tracks, all of the eggs are utilised in one single basket, so that each song incorporates the same elements. It reminds me of Cradle of Filth without the electronic symphonic element.

That is not to say this album is devoid of originality. There are nice elements of light and shade, particularly in the vocals and the differences between verse and chorus. Dreamscapes are at times created by the guitars and, undoubtedly, the drums lead the way. With seventeen tracks on this album it has a Punk timing element ranging between one minute and around five or six. It does allow the full-on assaults to be separated. I like the sound but it needs to be more variable in all manners. Most songs structure as pacing, galloping and thrashing. This is early days for Red Rot, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with next.


Ty Power

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