Album Review – Subterraen / Rotten Human Kingdom (2020)

Behold the debut opus by this Nantes, France-based Sludge and Doom Metal entity, narrating epic, anguish-ridden tales of the slow destruction of the planet and sowing seeds of the inexorable vengeance of mother nature.

Following the ponderous steps of giants like Eremit and Jupiterian while adding their own darkened grit and weighed down heaviness to the proceedings, Nantes, France-based Blackened Sludge/Doom Metal trio Subterraen has just released their debut opus entitled Rotten Human Kingdom, crafting 10+ minute songs narrating epic, anguish-ridden tales of the slow destruction of the planet and sowing seeds of the inexorable vengeance of mother nature. Formed in 2017, the band comprised of Clem Helvete on vocals and guitars, Chris KKP also on the guitar and Milvus on drums masterfully carries the torch of the style on their newborn spawn, with the crisp recording, mixing and mastering by the band’s own Chris KKP and the cryptic artwork by the talented illustrator Adam Burke (Nightjar Illustration) turning it into a must-listen for admirers of the somber creations by renowned acts such as Eyehategod, Neurosis, , Conan and Primitive Man.

Just like a creature form the abyss the band arises with their sluggish, eerie sounds in the 13-minute doomed feast titled Blood for the Blood Gods, where Clem roars and gnarls demonically while Milvus pounds his drums in the most devilish way possible. Furthermore, their guitar work is also amazing, exhaling darkness and evil, and with all atmospheric, melancholic passages enhancing the song’s taste and punch considerably. Then we have For a Fistful of Silver, an explosion of the most Stygian and darkest fusion of Sludge and Doom Metal, with Clem once again taking the lead with his enraged roaring while Milvus alternates between Black Metal-inspired drums and primeval doom beats. It’s impressive how the music evolves and progresses like if it was the soundtrack to a psychological horror movie, with the dirty and visceral riffs by both Clem and Chris penetrating deep inside your skin. After such avalanche of blackened sounds, it’s time for the trio to enfold us all with the delicate interlude Oceans are Rising, where minimalist guitar lines permeate the air for over two minutes until Clem, Chris and Milvus show no mercy for our souls with the demolishing Blackened Doom Metal aria Wrath of a Downtrodden Planet, a beastly creation by Subterraen where slow and steady beats and malignant ambience provide Clem exactly what he needs to darken our thoughts with his hellish screams, and the music remains as imposing, dense and vile as it can be, all spiced up by their trademark raw, piercing guitars.

Subterraen’s massive monolith of doom can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show those French metallers your support and admiration go grab your copy of Rotten Human Kingdom from countless locations such as their own BandCamp page, the official Transcending Obscurity Records’ webstore, where by the way you can find an amazing Coffin-Shaped Wooden CD Box Set with Laser Engraving including an 8-panel Digipak CD with metallic effect/UV embossing and sandalwood scent, an autographed certificate, a fridge magnet, a metallic sticker, a gold patch and a badge (also available through their US store), Apple Music, Amazon, Walmart and Strictly Discs, and don’t forget to also follow them on Facebook and on Instagram. As the band members themselves like to say, “from ashes to ashes, from dust to dust”, and in the case of their debut album Rotten Human Kingdom, we can also add to that “from doom to doom.”

Best moments of the album: For a Fistful of Silver and Wrath of a Downtrodden Planet.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. Blood for the Blood Gods 13:28
2. For a Fistful of Silver 14:30
3. Oceans are Rising 2:33
4. Wrath of a Downtrodden Planet 18:20

Band members
Clem Helvete – vocals, guitars
Chris KKP – guitar
Milvus – drums

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