Mastiff Plague

Mastiff Plague
7
If you're looking for an up-and-coming band to deliver raw, sludgy grindcore, look no further than UK band Mastiff. Their second full-length release is a gritty and pummelling experience from beginning to end, with plenty of tight riffs to keep you locked in.
 
The band are at their best when delivering deep, churning beatdowns, such as the core sound of "Vermin" and "Quarantine," but their flirtation with the punk side of grindcore on "Brainbleed" is one of the highlights of the album. Although Mastiff manage their best moments in mid-tempo grind, this brief moment of punk energy feels like it should have been pushed further, with a few more short bangers tossed in throughout the record.
 
Speedy sounds aren't exclusive to this track though. The band pick up the pace with great execution on "Weep" and "Hellcircle," while jamming out a few breakdowns and two-step riffs in between. Moments of droning sludge feel a tad excessive and unnecessary on the record's lone long track "Black Death," but the hypnotizing feedback that closes off "Bubonic" shows the band can make this element of their music work.
 
Plague may not be a perfect album, but it's a solid release from a band finding their way. The eerie sounds connecting songs together build immense tension for the band to drop an onslaught of savage music. (APF Records)