Over the years Dave Rotten’s Avulsed has been fixated over different aspects of gore and horror, and this year, the band releases its sixth full length studio, Ritual Zombi (seemingly inspired by Death‘s Zombie Ritual, but more on that later). With each of the Avulsed (or Dave Rotten, for that matter) releases being well-received, one could only expect even more with the band’s brand new release.
Opening track Dawn of Apocalypse gave me quite a surprise. With the brutality that Dave Rotten has displayed in all his other projects thus far such as Christ Denied and Putrevore, one would have expected the same level of brutality, but on Dawn of Apocalypse the band leans instead towards a melodic territory. I’ll admit, while it is refreshing to hear something more melodic for once coming from Dave, it was honestly somewhat disappointing. However, this disappointment proved to be rather short-lived as soon as the band starts going at breakneck speed and crushing brutality on Dead Flesh Awakened. The overall sound on Ritual Zombi can be described as a cross between old school Swedish death metal and Finnish death metal. The buzzsaw tone that guitarists Jose and Juancar utilise is strongly reminiscent of bands like Entombed and Demonical, and along with the drumming style of Osckar, alternating between simpler energetic d-beats and brutal blasting easily remind one of the output of Grave.
At the same time, there is that unmistakable Finnish undertone that is constantly present. Of course, there is that deep, guttural growls of Dave, who at times go so low to sound like an undecipherable gargle, not unlike the style that Demilich has popularised. Furthermore, that crushing playing style of the band also brings one to the good old days of Abhorrence and Convulse, making things all the more exciting for fans of the genre.
The zombie theme runs strong throughout the record, and right from the start till the end there is no shortage of mention of the undead and the rotten, and the material on Ritual Zombi certainly complements these themes. Even the interlude Elegy for the Rotting, with the acoustic guitars and that somewhat emotional melody seem to mourn the end of mankind, while giving a break for the listener in the midst of all the crushing chaos that goes around. To further display their affinity with zombies, the band has also included a cover of Death‘s Zombie Ritual, giving it a nice Avulsed treatment making the track all the more impactful, at the same time displaying the band’s technical prowess.
As with all other Dave Rotten bands and projects that I have encountered thus far, Avulsed‘s latest effort is extremely impressive, and is sure to be on my playlist for awhile now.