Earth Rot – Follow the Black Smoke

Rating: 3.5/5
Released: 2014
Band Website:

a1671964463_2Band line-up:

Jared Bridgeman-Vocals
Tom Waterhouse-Guitar/Vocals
David Steele-Guitar/Vocals
Chris Gebauer-Drums/Vocals
Alex Wilson-Bass/Vocals


1.  Frostitute
2.  A Dark Ill
3.  The Pact
4.  Hunger
5.  Sleep Paralysis
6.  Witch Vomit
7.  Black Tears
8.  The Serpent Tongue
9.  Stares of Sempiternity
10. Oblivion


Australia obviously knows something about Rock music.  After all, they gave us AC/DC.   The land down under, however, has never been recognized as a hotbed of metal for the most part.  There are moments of promise but not enough to be mentioned with the UKs, Swedens, and Germanys of the world.  If Earth Rot has anything to say on the matter, that could all change.

Hailing from the Perth region of Australia, Earth Rot enter the fray with a sound that has elements of Black metal, Death metal, and, well, damn the labels because this is simply solid heavy metal through and through.  At first view, one could be forgiven for calling this book by its Black metal cover.  There’s much more within the pages upon inspection.

The opening track, the witty titled “Frostitute”, chugs along with a neck-wrenching riff before veering into blast beats, interesting time signatures, and then back to the guiding riff.  It sets the tone and the tone is “heavy”.  Track 2, “A Dark III” takes a complete thrash approach until the final third of the song where the band revert back to the melodic grooves that were present in the opener.

“The Pact” is up next and the band are being quite clear that they mean business with this whole metal thing.  If heads don’t bang to this, they won’t bang at anything.  When a melodic guitar solo chimes in at the 2:00 mark, you just know from here on that everything and anything is on the table, sonically, from this outfit.  “Hunger” rings in next and it, too, is a mix of death and thrash but never without the melody suitable to the associated genres.

The album’s midpoint, “Sleep Paralysis”, is a melodic death metal number that would certainly appeal to the darker side of Europe’s melodic death scene.  The next half of the album begins with “Witch Vomit” which is largely an instrumental track until the over halfway through where there is some limited lyric work.  The nice thing about “Witch Vomit” is that it quite sounds like what I’d perceive witch vomit to sound like.

Dark, grinding, and guttural.  Aptly named indeed.  “Black Tears” and “The Serpent Tongue” follow with an all-out black/thrash assault.  Winding down the album is “Stares of Sempiternity” with some of the more melodic guitar pieces on display and the closer, “Oblivion”, that revisits the groove-thrash that will surely be the soundtrack to many a pit experience in the coming months and years. Summing up, you can’t make everyone happy.

However, there should certainly be enough thrash for the thrashers, death for the death metal fans, and black metal tones for our darker friends to keep the party rolling.  All this wrapped up in a healthy cocoon of raw melodic death makes Earth Rot a band to watch in the coming days.  They should most certainly be considered for larger label support with what they bring to the table.

Early 2015 sees the band joining up with Marduk for a destruction of Japan.  Look for an Aussie flag planted firmly in the rubble because Earth Rot should stake their claim to a piece of that mayhem!

Review by Chris Marsh