The fertile Texas metal scene has always been a tight-knit fraternity that welcomes every type of banger from Lone Star knuckleheads to brainy prairie visionaries. Take early Exodus/S.O.D.-style sick thrashers Rotting Corpse. Formed by Dimebag (then “Diamond”) Darrell Abbott’s guitar tech Walt Trachsler and fellow Pantera roadie Jim Mulqueen while their bosses were still pumping spandex in regional rock halls, the band also featured future Solitude Aeturnus guitarist John Perez. Soon, Steve Murphy of thinking man’s crossover act Process Revealed joined on bass, and by 1990 Rotting Corpse had swapped members with Necrovore, Gammacide, Hellpreacher, and Covenant, wrecking plenty of stages in the meantime.
This three-song tape purloins a LOT of choice riffs from Exodus’ Bonded by Blood, but that’s not a bad place to start. Their zealous thrash energy can’t be faked, and compared to a lot of excitable demo bands at the time, they can actually play — and keep a fast tempo together.
Who knows what influence these guys had on Pantera’s decision to play thrash? Rotting Corpse later traded the Abbott brothers a used motorboat for studio time to record a future demo, and Vinnie Paul even ran the mixing board. When Rotting Corpse was all over, Walter Trachsler briefly played guitar with Death on the Spiritual Healing tour.
Two or three years ago Rotting Corpse rebanded for a few shows and re-released their demos on CD in three modest editions of 100 copies. There’s also a historical DVD that I’ve got to see. Their MySpace page is HERE, and read an excellent lengthy interview with Steve Murphy — now a computer entrepeneur — at texasmetalunderground.com.