There are two other bands by the name of Prisoner Of War/POW on Metal Archives as well, but these guys are nowhere to be found. The first band was a Jersey Groove/Thrash act, and the other is a North Carolinian Sludge/Doom act. All released EP's, which is what this record is as well. But can this New Zealand death and thrash combo do what the other POW's could not? They already released a demo back in '14 which gives them at least one more release than the other guys, and by releasing a full-length later, they'll officially be the only registered POW that managed to make it beyond demo days. Thankfully, the music here is well worth it, with a distinct war metal sound that goes equally well with the band's warlike lyrics. Yes, we can compare them to the great Bolt Thrower in that respect, but there's a bit more thrash, kick and groove here so it's not a slow trudge through the battlefield. Vocalist/Bassist Charred Remains gives us a fiendish approach here on the microphone with both his thick growls and horrendous scowls, which seem only beefed by the attention to detail offered up by Typhoid's guitar licks. This guy doesn't really mind pounding us with a little but of progressive-era Death, then rolling right into Destruction or early Venom territory right after. Sometimes they just want to take us right back into nineties death slabs with “Twisted Mass Of Burnt Decay” which is just fine, because they prove that they can pump enough song structure and musicianship into a track that's only about a minute longer than your average grindcore number. That's pretty damn impressive, as I know very few bands out there that can even come close to that. These guys sound like they've been playing for a long time, and I think that's another thing I like about the New Zealand scene. A lot of metal acts over there seem to have respect for that classic sound and production, like their peers in Monsterworks – a band that I find just as good and praise rather heavily. POW are a much different sort of act though, and they've got a harder edge that I really think people owe it to themselves to go out there and discover. Rot offers an awful lot of potential within it's short playing time and only anticipates me for the band's next release. It's death, it's thrash, it's groove, it has a little bit of doom and some creepy prog parts. Simply put, it's the kind of thing we need right now in a scene where bands are either hopping on the bandwagon, or just trying to outright copy their influences. POW are familiar, yet different – and that's where the appeal to such a terribly horrifying death metal laced experience comes in. Get your hands on it now.
(5 Tracks, 21:00)