2016 see’s the return of Finnish grinders Refusal with their first official full length release We Rot Within. Having been creating aggressive, grinding death since 2008, Refusal have seriously upped their game with We Rot Within, which consists of nine golden nuggets of death metal delight.
Refusal have drawn on an impressively vast amount of influences on We Rot Within. There are distinct undertones of everyone from The Rotted to Lock Up with a hefty chunk of Cattle Decapitation thrown in. Despite being essentially a death metal band, the grindcore force is strong with Refusal, with traces of later Napalm Death also thrown into the mix on We Rot Within.
Speed is the name of the game on the album, with all nine tracks being insanely fast. The fastest however is easily fourth track Short on Ammo, delivering explosive bursts of energetic extremity brilliantly. The nihilistic number Do Your Part is also further proof that speed reigns supreme on the album, adding in hefty doses of lively aggression and brutality. Just don’t read the rather grim and depressing lyrics on a Monday morning.
Another wonderfully miserable song is the fiery grinding number Doomed. On Doomed, vocalist Niikka Lius and backing vocalist Timo Pirhonen’s contrasting styles complement each other brilliantly, with intense growls and harrowing screeching providing everything a fan of extreme metal needs in terms of vocals. Doomed itself is a decent mix of standard Refusal speed and slower, glum melancholy that really spices up the variety on We Rot Within.
Refusal have pulled out all the stops on closing number and title track We Rot Within. With a much slower opening than previous efforts, the track hurtles itself into your ears with a frenzy of bass solos, elongated growls and impressive guitar solos. It is undoubtedly the real show stopper on the album.
We Rot Within is one hell of an impressive debut album. Having been releasing demos since 2008, Refusal have really refined their sound and created a tasty formula of death metal and grindcore that will please fans of both genres. If you like your music to be extremely hostile and capable of generating the most gargantuan and stompy of pits then look no further than Refusal, as their unique brand of blasts will satisfy all your brutal needs. Packed with blast beats, groove and deep, guttural vocals, We Rot Within will easily be on many death and grind fans albums of 2015 list already.
(8.5/10 Eilish Foxen)