One of the best demos I’ve listened to lately comes from Romania. Death metal from the grave, with a creepy feeling, that’s how I would describe this very interesting and addictive release. The band guilty for this little underground treasure is Rotheads and the demo is titled Unfazed by Death.
Released (until now) in a digital format on the group’s Bandcamp page and a DIY CDr in 2016, this fantastic trip into the bowels of stenchy death metal comes in a moment when the idea of a good quality Romanian underground is almost non-existent and utopian.
Rotheads members come from some “weird” Bucharest bands, crust/doomers Void Forger and experimental stoner/doom/jam session improvisers Keeng Ra’at, who managed to create with this demo a surprisingly good debut for a totally unknown band.
The release contains 5 songs (plus an intro, an instrumental and an outro), played in the old tradition of suffocating death metal, for the fans of Autopsy, Asphyx atc. The songs are short but intense, with and asphyxiating atmosphere and crunchy guitars riffs. The sound is murky and it reeks of death, as if the band has recorded the tracks in an ancient, decaying crypt.
For such a release the production is perfect, highlighting the very good musical skills and the quality of the compositions. I like very much the guttural, cavernous vocals and the drums, which alternate between some slow, doom like parts and savage blast beats. The guitars are just great, providing the exact riffs and melodic solos that complete this very good demo.
I truly think this material should get a proper release in a physical format (tape, cd or vinyl), so that the cover with its amazing logo created by Željko Lučić and the musical content can get a proper recognition. (In the meantime, you can listen to the demo on their Bandcamp, Youtube or Soundcloud pages, links are below).
If you expect another copycat of old school bands, well, I must warn you you’ll be disappointed. The music Rotheads delivers is not original, but it has massive personal touches (just listen to the guitar parts/solos, the one on Warding Blood is mind blowing) that make Unfazed by Death a mandatory listen and a must have for any respectable extreme music lover.
Starting with the eerie Intro and all through the 6 compositions, Rotheads have created a very atmospheric piece of death metal, with lots of links to the past but which still sounds very fresh and actual at the same time. The fact that some of the members played (or still play) in the experimental band Keenga Ra’at can be clearly heard in the way they improvise during the awesome, almost bluesy guitar solos.
For half an hour Unfazed by Death is a horrible manifesto of a new and talented band which proves that quality extreme music has no boundaries or age. If you want to experiment their music live and see if what I wrote here is bullshit or not, you can catch Rotheads next week, on the 16th of December, when the band will open for the mighty Sadistic Intent in Bucharest.
I am extremely happy that a band like Rotheads has finally raised its ugly, deformed head from this poor, local underground. This is a very good thing and they need a lot of support from the local promoters, from the fans and why not, from the media. I really do hope they will find a suitable label to release this demo and their future materials, this band is a hope that our underground, small and limited as it is, still has something to say when it comes to extreme metal.
Unfazed By Death track list:
2. Stench of Death
3. Dark War
4. Unfazed by Death
5. Burden of Sin
6. Warding Blood
7. Howling at the Galaxy’s Edge
Spurcăciune – guitar/vocals
Bîrsatan – bass guitar
Omu Rău – guitar
Potaie – drums