Courtesy: Despotz Records
Hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest full-length studio recording this week, and the album, Bitter, is another strong new offering from the veteran Swedish band. Front man Jens Westlin explained the album’s title “comes from observing how the social climate is around the world right now…Everyone’s so dissatisfied and thinks that everyone else’s life is so much better than theirs, and if something goes wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault. As a result of this, all power hungry leaders in this world thrive on the dissatisfaction of the people and gain power that way.” He added that these views are what inspired the band’s new album both musically, and lyrically. The band’s reaction to that situation is on full display early on in the form of the song ‘Cross,’ which will be discussed shortly. ‘Scream,’ which comes later in the album’s run is another standout addition to Bitter, that shows quite well, the band’s response to everything going on. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Drown,’ which comes even later in the album’s run is another notable addition to the album’s overall statement about the world’s current social and political climate. It will also be discussed later. Each of the three songs noted here are key in their own way to the whole of Bitter. When considered along with the other nine songs featured in the album not directly noted here, the end result is a powerful new offering from Corroded that will light a new fire within listeners and leave them feeling anything but bitter.
Corroded’s fifth full-length studio recording Bitter is another strong new offering from the Swedish hard rock outfit. The new, 12-song record, which is the band’s second for Sweden-based Despotz Records, shows from start to finish, that the quartet can easily hold its own against its more well-known hard rock and metal counterparts. This is proven early on in the form of ‘Cross.’ The song’s up-tempo, guitar-driven musical arrangement helps to support that statement. The arrangement conjures thoughts of Five Finger Death Punch, Soil, Dry Kill Logic and other similar acts. The fiery energy exuded through the arrangement, coupled with Westlin’s growling vocals does a commendable job of illustrating the anger and frustration that Westlin attempts to present in the song’s lyrical content.
That seeming mix of strong emotions is inferred as he sings, “Our mistakes…they have never ever been this clear/All the pain/And the misery/Every word that was said out of fear/Every thorn/In the side/The suffering we had to endure/We never stopped/It isn’t easy/There will never ever be a cure/Every breath that we take/Is a waste of the air we possess/All the s*** that we give….I won’t be nailed upon your cross/I will not take the pain for you/It’s time to own your mistakes/It’s time for you to fall.” Westlin’s fire hardly dies in the song’s second verse as he sings of having to carry someone else’s agony and misery, and refusing to do so any longer before returning to the chorus’ powerful message pointing the finger back at the proverbial stone casters and finger pointers. Guitarist Thomas Andersson, bassist Bjarne Elvsgard and drummer Per Solang are to be commended in their own right for their work throughout the song, and especially in its bridge as they work together to help illustrate that feeling of emotional strain that one goes through when one is blamed for something that happened to someone else. Instead of being the fiery work that is exhibited through the rest of the song, it presents a certain vibe of someone trying to get over those feelings of self-guilt and realizing people cause their own problems in many cases. It is a brief moment in the bigger picture of the song, but powerful in its own right. When it considered along with Westlin’s unapologetic lyrical content and the rest of the song’s unflinching arrangement, the whole proves to be an unquestionably forceful response to that bitterness of which Westlin spoke, which led to much of the album’s creation. It is just one of the album’s most standout entries. ‘Scream,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another notable addition to the album.
In regards to its musical arrangement, ‘Scream’ is a work that is certain to appeal to thrash metal purists out there. Again, the similarities to Dry Kill Logic are front and center here. At the same time, one can also argue influences from the likes of Overkill, Exodus, Anthrax and other similar acts, thanks again to the collective work of Andersson, Elvsgard and Solang.
The energy exuded through this thrash-style work does its own commendable job of illustrating the urgency in the song’s lyrics; an urgency that seems to center on the issue of self-determination and not letting the currently bitter state of the world bring one down. This is inferred as Westlin sings with his band mates in the song’s chorus, “Scream/Until your lungs give out/Don’t roll over and die/Shout/Until everything is said/Don’t give up…” This positive message is coupled with an equally positive vibe in the song’s verses. Westlin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Inhale/Let everything around go down/Find a moment of peace/React/The perfect storm is here right now/You are the center of its eye.” Westlin’s message is relatively clear in this verse, especially considering the song’s chorus. He is saying that we create the storm that surrounds us, and the way to survive that storm is to find our inner peace, to jet let everything out, not hold it in. he even comes right out in the song’s second verse and states, “Exhale/Let matters fall right into place/Find a calm inside yourself.” He goes on to say, “you are the center of the mass.” Yet again, here we have a relatively clear statement of how we are the source and solution to all of our problems. This is a positive message, from which plenty of listeners can and hopefully will take some enlightenment. When it is coupled with that previously discussed musical arrangement, the whole is a song that is therapeutic in the best way possible, and yet another wonderful response to the negativity that is polluting the world right now. It is far from the last example of the album’s clear ability to respond to the world’s current climate. ‘Drown’ is yet another example of how well the band has responded to everything going on around the globe.
‘Drown’ is the penultimate addition to Bitter. Musically, this song is another interesting composition. The verses are once again up-tempo, guitar-drive, adrenaline-fueled sections. The choruses however, are far more melodic. What is interesting is that the song does not lose any of its energy in the choruses. It just changes style, in turn, keeping the work moving forward. The song’s bridge hints at some 80s influences through Andersson’s guitar work, which is not an entirely bad thing. Of course, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out. Its lyrical content leads it to stand out just as much as its musical content.
Westlin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wish I could break the spell that binds us here/You know to each his own…Just go and do/As you please…It must be done my way/It must be done your way. Some of his wording is difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference, but the seeming message becomes partially clear. Later in the song’s nearly five-minute song, he goes on to sing, of looking back on a chain that has been broken and will not leave any marks. This is just this critic’s own take, but it would seem that Westlin is speaking metaphorically here to address social control, with the chain being that control, broken. That would explain Westlin’s earlier statement of “It must be done my way/It must be done your way.” There is that problem of everyone wanting things in life their way, but we as a people do not have to let it be one person’s way or another, but rather our own way, regardless of what everyone else says. We can respect others’ ways, but we do not have to live by those ways. That goes back to the initial statement of “Wish I could break that spell that binds us here/You know to each his own.” It all seems to come together in a statement of not giving in to what everyone says one should do and be. Again, this should not be taken as the only interpretation, but merely that of this critic. Hopefully this critic is at least somewhere in the ballpark with that interpretation, as it would seem to be another response to the world’s negativity, as addressed by Westlin about the album’s overall theme. When it is considered along with the seeming messages presented in ‘Scream,’ Cross’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of Bitter becomes a work in whole that will leave listeners anything but bitter.
Corroded’s latest full-length studio recording Bitter is a record that is certain to leave listeners feeling anything but bitter about the world after they listen from start to finish, to the 12-song record. That is because of the messages presented in the songs, which come across as various responses to the world’s bitterness – responses that are in fact not overly bitter themselves. That is evidenced early on in ‘Cross,’ which points the finger back at the finger pointers, and again later in the album’s run in ‘Scream,’ which seems to encourage people to get their negativity out (of course in a positive way), and even later seems to encourage people to embrace their personal identity, rather than give in to social control in ‘Drown.’ These are just some of the songs featured in this record that clearly address everything going on in the world. The Type O Negative-esque ‘Black’ seems to address’ people’s self-imposed misery while the In Flames-styled ‘Breathing’ comes across as sending a message of not giving up even in the most dire situations. The old-school metal style work that is ‘Testament’ is a defiant anthem that comes across as encouraging people to stand up for themselves against all odds. Again, this is all this critic’s own interpretation. Hopefully it is somewhere in the ballpark in each case, including that of the songs more directly discussed. If indeed this critic’s interpretations are right, then again, this record proves that much more to be quite the successful offering from Corroded, and easily one of the year’s first great hard rock/metal records. It is available now. More information on Bitter is available online now along with all of Corroded’s latest news and more at:
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