Earth Rot – Black Tides of Obscurity (Review)

Earth Rot - Black Tides of ObscurityEarth Rot are an Australian blackened death metal band and this is their third album.

Both 2016’s Chthonian Virtues and 2017’s Renascentia were hugely enjoyable, and worthy of a place in any extreme metal fan’s collection.

Black Tides of Obscurity gives us 45 minutes of harsh nastiness, but it’s a collection of songs that shows a more diverse delivery than we’ve previously had from the band; Earth Rot are clearly pushing themselves on this new album, with a few different aspects appearing that we haven’t really seen from them before. This primarily revolves around an increase in the black metal side of their sound, but also includes an experimental streak hitherto largely unseen, (mainly on the final track).

Overall this is a relatively diverse album, comparatively speaking to their older work. Some of the songs are more what you would expect from Earth Rot after hearing Renascentia, while others take this as a base and expand outwards into new territories. Some operate more on the black metal side of the spectrum, and others the death metal side, but all take from both and put the parent styles to good use. The singer’s vocal range has expanded too, quite significantly.

As mentioned, Earth Rot’s blackened coating seems to have thickened, imbuing the music with an even darker feel than normal. Additionally, elements of the more epic side of certain strains of black metal can be felt in places, allowing the band to explore their own version of grim grandeur, which they do very well. It’s almost like the band’s Swedish death metal core has been increasingly corrupted by black metal’s warped embrace, providing us with the hideous hybrid monster that we find on Black Tides of Obscurity.

Earth Rot have a more textured approach on this release, but still know how to break out the meaty riffs and tear into the listener with cutting blackened death metal. Surprising moments of catchiness appear here and there too, showing that the band’s sense of songwriting has only improved over time. Sinister melodies and bleak atmospheres are normal, as is the heavy aggression that characterises the bedrock of the band’s delivery.

Black Tides of Obscurity is a great progression for Earth Rot. Creative and highly effective in what it does, Earth Rot just seem to keep getting better with every release.

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