REVIEW: Methwitch - Rotting Away

METHWITCH
ROTTING AWAY
CAMERON MCBRIDE

Capping off a rather excellent week in aggressive releases, I'm happy to present METHWITCH - an ultra low-end solo project out of New Mexico. Now, there is some speculation on it's genre but, to me, Rotting Away borders on Death Metal, Sludge, and Grind. However, it'd be more accurate to say this album is closer to Death and Sludge than anything - because, lets face it, Grind doesn't exactly pride itself on variety such as what is provided here.

This album has a rather unique approach to its track structure, providing it's listeners with a majority of shorter tracks and choosing to save the meatier ones (the best ones) for midpoints and end points. Personally, I love this. The songs are all to the point, never boring, and it all comes together to remind me of BLEEDING THROUGH's 'The Fire.' Though, don't expect the same brand of harsh content, METHWITCH simply aims to drag the scum of the this earth even lower.

As I mentioned earlier, this album is closer to Death and Sludge. Such is ever apparent on tracks like 'Stigmata' and 'Guillotine', which employ the use of droning notes and slow monotonous progression - though, not monotonous in a negative sense. These two tracks, no doubt, are the most sinister of the bunch. All the hate and anger of the album seems to have reached a cumulative peak at this point, like a festering clot of anger and disgust. It's almost surprising this content has been written by a single person; almost terrifying if you didn't know they lived in New Mexico.

The main highlight of this album is actually its extreme low-end nature, the entire album I believe was written in Drop F on a eight string guitar. It's thunderous nature begs that you listen to it at the highest possible volumes, and its way more appreciated when a copious amount of bass is involved on your system. Almost accidentally, METHWITCH employs a good deal of Djent mentality but throws it out the window - all the low end you could desire with no polyrhythmic 'technique' involved. Being someone who has experimented with extended scale guitars, I can say it's damn near impressive that Rotting Away didn't ever even play with that style.

The only negative aspect of this album is that, at times, there seems to be a bit of crackling. It's not a big issue, but it is persistent and several times I did check my headphones to see if they were going out. Of course, this is a independent solo release and there is only so much you can do with loud distorted and bass ridden guitars.

If your a fan of aggressive bands like RINGWORM, DISSIMULATOR, or even BLEEDING THROUGH (at least their last two releases) you'll like this. As well, two covers are included on this album which range from awesome (Festering in the Crypt - CANNIBAL CORPSE) to a little bit hilarious (Everything Ends - SLIPKNOT), so if you want to hear SLIPKNOT be as heavy as the uberfans claim they are - it might be the added bonus which gets you even more involved in Rotting Away.