Review: Mastiff ‘Deprecipice’

Somewhere in a parallel universe, I’m sure that Mastiff are headlining huge shows across the globe as they have always been a band that, in my humble opinion, are greatly underappreciated. Deprecipice is their fourth album which is offering up their twisted world of extreme metal, sludge and hardcore, fused together to create the most brutal sonic onslaught possible.

Mastiff 'Deprecipice' Artwork
Mastiff ‘Deprecipice’ Artwork

The five piece from Kingston upon Hull have produced a record that is epically heavy, with the vocals from Jim Hodge being as ferocious as anything you’ll hear this year or any other year for that matter! The intensity is there from the off with Bite Radius being full on mental and scary at the same time, with the drumming from Micheal Shephard hitting hard enough to rattle any venom out of the most poisonous of snakes.

But it just keeps coming, with Everything Is Ending up next which has a cataclysmic drop at the end to emphasise the move more to a hardcore sound, ‘a lot more staccato’ as Hodge defined it as, whilst not deviating too far from their usual crushing and vengeful selves. Void is an example of true life raw emotions spilling over, written by guitarist James Andrew Lee about his mother’s passing, it enters new levels of despair and frustration in their lyrics and musicianship.

like being trapped in one of the most frightening Freddie Kruger nightmares possible…

They have a few guests across the album as well, with Cut Throat featuring Ethan Lee McCarthy from the excellently brutish Primitive Man, Harry Nott from Burner appearing on Serrated and more North East royalty in Yersin’s Rob Scott featuring on Worship, which has a delicious bone shattering bass line from Dan Dolby that could probably wake the dead.

Deprecipice definitely isn’t for the feint hearted as it’s an album full of raw emotions, as both Hodge and Lee ‘were both standing back on the edge of a depressive void’ and with songs like Skin Stripper you can feel the grim reality of their life, as it’s brutal, powerful and unyielding. In some parts, it feels like being trapped in one of the most frightening Freddie Kruger nightmares possible, but the band have somehow still managed to keep their sound fresh, raw and seething.

Mastiff are a band who like to record everything quickly, and this was done within a week in order to ‘keep that primal feeling’ explains Hodge adding ‘if you take too much time, you start to second guess yourself’ and this is an honest approach. With the more melodic Thorn Trauma wrapping things up in the most terrifying of ways, almost their cathartic moment of reflection, it feels like an album of discovery that bleeds with genuine pain and emotion.

Label: MNRK Heavy
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Scribed by: Matthew Williams