It Is What It Is.

                                Rotting Paradise

COLDWORKER – Rotting Paradise

Relapse Records 2008

Review by S J Holetz

        If you've just GOT to have a bad day, then this is as good a time as any, as Rotting Paradise, the
sophomore effort from Sweden’s Coldworker, has just hit the racks. Coldworker [Link][MySpace] was
formed in 2006 by drummer Anders Jakobsen, as he looked to form a new deathgrind group following the
collapse of previous band Nasum. After posting an announcement online, he was soon joined by like-minded
guitarist Anders Bertilsson, formerly of Ruin, and Relentless bassist Oskar Pålsson, and Coldworker was
born. Their 2006 debut The Contaminated Void firmly established the band on the more brutal end of the
Swedish metal spectrum, a trend which is furthered with this latest release. Rotting Paradise is a prime
example of modern death metal, music so urgent, pissed-off and mean-spirited that it can barely be contained
by it's unnerving cover art.

        The session launches with the breakneck opening riff of “Reversing the Order”, offering little choice but to
grit your teeth and snap your neck from moment one. Immediately noticeable is the crackling guitar sound which
illuminates the deft, crunching fretwork from guitarists Bertilsson and Daniel Schröder, who use it to fill each song
with concise, memorable riffing. Jakobsen’s drum sound is fantastic, each fill and crash distinct in the mix. Vocalist
Joel Fornbrant’s roar is genre-standard, but he owns the center of the musical maelstrom through sheer power
and verbal acuity.

        Having accomplished it’s teeth-kicking mission, “Order” gives way to the punishing yet melodic “Citizens of the
Cyclopean Maze”, which sandwiches a blistering guitar solo between Haunted choruses. From this point forward,
tracks speed by like cars on the freeway in a bludgeoning blur. “Paradox Lost” attains standout status through it’s
pulverizing twists of thick distortion, while Pålsson’s bass intro and choice riffing elevates the thrashy “Seizures”.
The blasting speed and brutality of closing trilogy “I Am The Doorway”, “Scare Tactics”, and “Deliverance of
the Rejected” serve to administer the most crushing album finish I’ve heard so far this year.

        My lone criticism of Rotting Paradise is that Coldworker only has about three gears: AAARGGGGHHH!,
GAAAAAAHHHH! And FUUUUUUUCK!, so there isn’t a ton of aural variation here. There is also no pity,
no respite, no surcease, only pure death ass-kickery until the final note sounds. THIS is what you put on when
your car gets broken into, when you get called in to work on your day off, when the world won’t stop shitting
on you. THIS is the soundtrack for a bad day. THIS belongs in your collection. 8/10

1 Reversing the Order 2:53
2 Citizens of the Cyclopean Maze 3:53
3 Symptoms of Sickness 2:31
4 The Black Dog Syndrome 3:01
5 Comatose State 2:52
6 Paradox Lost 4:11
7 The Last Bitter Twist 3:03
8 Seizures 3:13
9 The Machine 3:10
10 I Am the Doorway 4:11
11 Scare Tactics 2:34
12 Deliverance of the Rejected 3:25  


  Copyright  2008 S J Holetz

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