Track Premiere: Rotheads – ‘Sewer Fiends’

Rotheads come from Bucharest and theirs is a particularly fetid and intoxicating kind of old school death. With vocals like dungeonous cries of pain and disgust, once-thrash riffs stretched and tortured on The (proverbial) Rack, and solos like noxious, green fumes rising up from unhallowed ground, Sewer Fiends proves Rotheads are devout followers of the Left Hand Path while simultaneously showcasing their own distinct death metal personality.

On January 22nd Memento Mori will release Sewer Fiends into the world to spread disease and death. If you’re a fan of bands both supreme and obscure, don’t miss out on your chance to be among the first knuckleheads out there raving about this excellent debut.

In the meantime, here’s an exclusive peek at Rotheads’ debut. This is “Sewer Fiends.”

Quote Rotheads: “‘Sewer Fiends’ is a song that was met with excitement when we first wrote it and so it was one of the first new songs that could be sort of finished, even if at some point we started to add more stuff to it. The lyrics also came along quickly, so we had our title song set and we could work more on deciding which of the other many song concepts we would choose for the few song titles that we already wrote down. Although this song is a bit faster and shorter than the rest of the album, it has a lot of elements in it that have been later used for other songs and as a stylistic basis for the sound of the band. Some of these elements are the scale and mode choices for the song, the melodies and chord shapes specific to our Finnish old school death metal influences, the dual vocal style take with raspier and lower parts and even some of the approaches towards guitar leads and drumming.”

Sewer Fiends is a concept album,” the band continues. “We’ve had a lot of ideas of the sort that are so bad they’re good and one of those ideas was to write an entire album about rats and sewers and all things dark, moist and filthy. We had a few songs already written down as basic structures, but the band was kind of starting all over again since at first it was just two people that wrote a demo and then one of them left and at some point it became a full band and we had to learn how to function as one and at the same time write an album because although writing an album was always considered as the next step, now we had a deadline.

“I think it’s a bit strange to conceive a concept album when you are sort of starting out, but it’s always great to strive for something that’s cool even though maybe it seems out of reach, something that you feel is awesome, even if maybe others won’t feel the same about it. It’s you that has to believe in that idea and that will give you the drive to see it through. This might not really be a concept album, but just an album with a recurring theme, it doesn’t really matter, what’s important is that you must be a complete artist. When you work on something like this you must consider everything: artwork, sound production, lyrics, backstory, you can’t just have a shallow piece of art. Make no mistake, this is no great work of art in literature, painting or whatever, this is just one of the infinite stepping stones of a death metal artist towards mastering their art which might never even happen.

“The starting point was the concept for the album’s artwork which actually came up back in our original band for which Rotheads was a side project. From there we decided on the album title and the theme and just built on that, always coming up with another crazy over the top thing that we could do or reference in this album. The lyrics took inspiration from all over as long as they fit the theme somehow. There’s a bit of Frankenstein, Lovecraft, Diablo II, Fallout universe FEV vats, Night of the Living Dead, and even Romanian folklore in there. But first we wrote the titles because that’s the first thing that people will read and you have to get their attention from the first glance, get the interested and excited.

“For most of us, the recording of this album has been the first recording experience and with all of the theoretical discussions about how we should approach everything, we still had a lot of trouble and it was a huge learning experience that has made us start working harder for future band activities. All in all, in our opinion it’s a good album, even though we feel that maybe we could have worked more on some elements. Some things need to be left to sit for a while and be approached with a different mindset, but we just went on a marathon that kept hitting us in the face and the finish line seemed to always move a bit further. But we kept at it until it was done one way or the other.

“The greatest experience related to releasing Sewer Fiends has been working with a lot of really talented and experienced people. It has been really exciting seeing others working with the concepts that we had and bringing them to life and even more. We’d like them to know that we really appreciate the work they have done for our album: César, Cătălin, Javier and of course, Raúl of Memento Mori.”