It’s a truly remarkable thing when you find yourself listening to an album that can definitely be considered a game changer. As a fan of Rock Bottom’s previous material, I thought I knew what they were capable of until they dropped this megaton atom bomb in the form of their new full length, Down With The Devil.

The last review of a Rock Bottom record I did was for the Born II Hate EP that was released over two years ago. My statements back then likened them to Entombed with a crossover style that was in vain of DRI only more hardcore than metal. While some of those statements still hold true, I’d have to change my tone about them now. It’s quite clear that they are cut from the same cloth as Integrity and Ringworm. Don’t let that comparison fool you though. While the core is “holy terror” in nature, Rock Bottom starts to stray from the path with the incorporation of NOLA style grooves, heavy breaks, and ultra memorable solos. The band started with an incredible foundation with their previous albums and, while I didn’t think it was possible, found a way to build on it substantially.

This brings me to the vocals. Funny little back story. I met Dion back in, I think 2004, when he sold me an extra ticket to a Green Day/New Found Glory show. Who knew this skinny little man that loved pop-punk would turn out to be a demon on the microphone. My comparison to Integrity will continue here as Dion sounds a lot like Dwid, but dare I say more vicious. While Dwid sounds like he’s going to pop blood vessels in his face, Dion sounds like he’s possessed. Every record he just sounds more and more like a beast and fits absolutely perfectly accompanying the evil stories the band convey.

Coming from the same general area and finding ourselves on shows together, I would like to consider Rock Bottom peers with my band, Bottomfeeder. And this has definitely upped the ante on us. With how good this record is, it’s now lit a fire under me to push myself creatively with my lyrics and drive my bandmates into creating even better material. So kudos to the members of Rock Bottom for making sure every other band from this area has to step up their game in a big way. It’s only going to make for better music.

It’s rare that hardcore band can put out a full length anymore that doesn’t offer you a chance to breath. There isn’t a single track on this album that is skippable and that’s an incredible feat to achieve. Even the many of the big bands within hardcore are having trouble tackling that challenge. The band is giving this album away for free in a digital download so I’m going to go ahead and call you stupid if you don’t even take the free chance on this album. If you are a fan of heavy music, you will enjoy this record and Rot With The Wicked will be your new anthem in no time.