Returning to the UK after two years, Finland grind stars Rotten Sound are in London on a cold Thursday night off the back of new EP, 'Species At War'. The Underworld fills up rather nicely with metalheads, crust punks and hardcore adherents for a mid-week battle.
Swedish support act Martyrdöd offer up some delectable modern crust punk anthems to crack open skulls. Perhaps more musical than the standard crust act, the quartet play to their strengths with each song displaying its own persona of chaos. Guitar riffs sharp as razor blades and d-beats punctuate the mayhem with a black metal influence poisoning the music. The audience cannot get enough of these raggedy bastards with strong ovations bookending each song. When the time comes to vacate the stage, a hearty applause serenades the Swedes. No wonder Southern Lord picked up on them.
From neighbouring Finland, Rotten Sound take to the stage in a blaze of brutality. The start of their set is overwhelmed by the drums but the sound is soon rectified to polish the band's full inventory. With their take-no-prisoners approach to grindcore, the four-piece launch a nuclear attack on the audience. In typical grind fashion, Rotten Sound blast through short tracks, each like a swift boot to the face, cycling through tracks from throughout their career including 'Slave', 'Sell Your Soul', 'Hollow', 'Blind', 'Alternews', 'The Effects', and tracks from the 'Species At War' January release, such as 'The Solution' and 'Salvation'. Vocalist G, also known as Keijo Niinimaa, excels as a frontman. Not only does he deliver suitably fitting gravelly barks but he possesses a matching bombastic stage presence. Liberally swigging from a bottle of wine, he takes one moment to warn an intrepid cameraman precariously in the front row that he might get destroyed by the rampant mosh pits erupting behind him. Guitarist Q, or Mika Aalto, is a mad man on his axe, alternating between rapid and slower crunchy tempos.
The audience response is justifiably excessive and the frequency of the pits illustrate how appreciative the Underworld is of Rotten Sound. A four track encore studs the performance as a generously early start to the weekend with all in attendance hoping that these Finnish lunatics will return to destroy London sooner rather than later.