Released: 2009, Stormspell Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
One of the finest underground metal gems coming out from the Texas metal scene was surely this Dallas-based Rotting Corpse. Rotting Corpse were formed in July 1985 by Walt Trachsler and Jim "Moe" Mulqueen, who had known each other working as roadies for Pantera in the early 80s. Soon they met up John Perez after Walt had responded to his ad in a local music store. The rest is history – and you can read the whole history of Rotting Corpse from the website rottingcorpse.net.
Anyway, with different line-ups, Rotting Corpse released 4 demos that were heavily circulated in the underground metal scene by tape traders. In 2005 the band put all their demos out on their own label Fuck It Records, as a limited run of 300 copies only off which the 1st run of 100 copies came out signed by all band members. It was sold out in no time as one can easily realize.
Now, 4 years later Stormspell Records did a big favor to all of those people who didn´t have a change to get the band´s very limited demo-CDs straight from the band back in 2005 – and re-released them all over again with a bonus DVD. This CD collection contains all Rotting Corpse´s 3 demos completely, with an exception of the band´s DEMO ´88 off which they have only used songs like “Emotional Scars” and “Evolvement” for this collection due to a lack of space on the CD. The packaging of the whole CD is really professionally done: It comes with a 12-page booklet that has a very detailed band story, plus lyrics and lots of archive pictures and flyers taken from the band´s past days.
What about the music then? Two words that came instantly to my mind to describe them, are: Relentless thrash. That´s what they were all about; a relentless thrash band from Dallas, Texas, that loved fast and aggressive tempos within their songs, never really slowing down for a slight moment. Out of all their 4 demos, my personal favorite demo is their first 3-song demo from 1986,with Mo on vocals. I think the guy had a lot in common with Paul Baloff vocally. Check out for example the opening song of the demo, “Rotting Corpse” to notice his similarities vocal-wise to Baloff´s voice; even totally deaf people are able to hear them. When Walter (Trachsler) took over the vocal duties in Rotting Corpse on the band´s 2nd demo, FUCK IT, IT´S ONLY THRASH, I think at that time the band also took a a little bit more hardcore type of approach – and not only because Walter´s vocals were more hardcore orientated but also the songs became somehow more harsh and rawer sounding, having even some elements sounding like Slayer, especially in the solo department.
As for the DVD part, it features live footage from the band´s 3 gigs around Texas in 2005-2006, filmed by 3 different persons with one camera (Brian McLean, Mike Harvey and Ruth Velez) - and they have all done their share pretty well even; filming from the middle of the crowd as well as in front of the stages. Both picture and sound quality is decent in this newer live footage, but I cannot really say the same about the 2 other songs that can be found from the end of this DVD part. These last 2 songs have been filmed from Rotting Corpse´s Fort Worth, TX show on February 4th in 1989, and both sound and picture quality is kinda shitty actually. Of course we need to remember that the times were very different back then, and the video cameras back then were also very primitive according to what kind of picture one could get out from them - not to talk about how clumsy looking they were, too.
Nevertheless, this DVD works as a nice bonus, showing clearly how entertaining and yet so energetic thrash act Rotting Corpse was/is (they are kind of ´on hold´) - and I am sure many (old school) will find all this band´s live footage worth watching, no doubt.
So, now when their demos are available once again in a CD format, be sure to get them this time. They will probably last forever this time either (only 1000 copies made, so please hurry!).