Album Review: Mastiff – Plague (APF Records)
Like a black mould that just won’t clean away, Kingston Upon Hull’s premier misery spreaders Mastiff have returned from their darkened sewer, bringing with them a viral monstrosity that threatens to infect and destroy music as we know it.
Releasing 1st February 2019, Plague is the band’s first full-length album for APF Records, and represents the misanthropic quintet at their most aggressive and unrelenting.
Aggressive is the key word when it comes to describing Mastiff and their new album, Plague. 8 songs and 30-odd minutes of stomach-trembling nastiness. It’s vile, it’s horrid, it’s every nightmarish sound you can imagine from the grind/death band and it’s great.
Hellcircle builds up with ominous sound effects before erupting into a flurry of furious noise. It’s a startling opener build on angry riffing and explosive vocals leading to a final minute of ear-bleeding madness. Wow.
The strength that exists in Mastiff that sees them go all out, regardless of tempo, is highly impressive. Bubonic is slow and doom-laden with the crustiest of vocals, Brainbleed is a little over a minute of hyper-aggressive grinding metal and Quarantine is pure horror in sound form.
If none of this appeals that Plague is not for you but if you like your metal to sound out of control then Mastiff certainly provide.
It might seem short but this level of intensity can only be sustained for so long. It’s with a sense of relief that we reach the latter part of the album as Vermin shows some really classy drumming and Weep threatens to leave most in a blubbering mess.
Mastiff have no lower gear, it’s as simple as that and it’s astounding that we close out on a 9-minute track. This seems like it might be a step to far for the Brits but would you really be surprised to learn that they absolutely nail it?
Black Death’s splitting guitar screeches of feedback, the impossibly slow march of doom and the maddening roars leave the deepest of impressions. It shouldn’t work but it’s so intense that you can’t tear yourself away for a moment.
There is something special about Mastiff.
Mastiff – Plague Full Track Listing:
8. Black Death
The album will be available via all major streaming services. With digital, physical and bundles available over on Bandcamp and on limited edition vinyl via APF Records here. Find out more and keep up to date with Mastiff news by checking them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Mastiff - Plague (APF Records)
The Final Score - 9/10