Mastiff – Deprecipice (MNRK Heavy)

Just when you think Hull’s misery-filled riff machine Mastiff couldn’t possibly get any heavier, on March 22nd they are going to be dropping Deprecipice on an unsuspecting world, and believe me when I say you are not ready for the sheer brutality of this album. The band’s last aural assault on the world came in the form of 2021’s Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth, where the band’s calling card of hardcore-influenced sludge collided with Converge-like chaos as riffs and drums took on a life of their own in parts to create an intensity few other bands could match.

As you drop the needle on the new album Bite Radius and Everything Is Ending, make it clear that the band has not lost any of that killer heaviness. But what we do find is Mastiff in a more streamlined mode which sounds like Sick Of It All being played by Meshuggah. The discordant riffs still have a part to play, as Void kicks in but clearly, the band has adopted a “less is more” attitude as the track develops into a brutal groove.

The guys veer into industrial territory with the nightmare soundtrack Cut Throat which sees Jim Hodge’s brutal vocals layered over a soundscape but after that, it’s largely back to business, that is until the sludgy beatdown of Pitiful a punishing track that spilts heads at every crack of the snare. I’m sure in the world of Mastiff The Shape is designed to be some sort of reprieve before the final bludgeon, a calm before the storm if you will, but what they’ve created is yet another nightmare soundscape that serves as an intro to the violent end of Thorn Trauma.

A heavier album you will not find in 2024. Mastiff, take all the energy of old-school hardcore bands like Agnostic Front and combine them with the bleakness and ferocity of early Neurosis, to create something so heavy, it’ll give you a nosebleed. Mastiff has taken heavy to a whole new level and Deprecipice will make a lot bands second guess themselves when declaring their claim to the heavy throne… Chris Andrews

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