As much as I enjoy a gritty and closeted produced release, something inside of me ignites when I come across a band that is able to harness those elements while allowing the sound to be distinct and sprawling. Hailing from the U.K., Mastiff is a five-piece sludge metal outfit that uses a steady hand to thread various fabrics of hardcore and doom into their music. The most impressive aspect is the intimacy that’s present while keeping the atmosphere coated in filth and distortion, achieved by their upcoming album Bork being recorded live and still sounding tight and cohesive. The first single that they have released, “Nil By Mouth”, is a pounding track that is drenched in sweat and frustration in the greatest way possible. Every riff and crash of the cymbals is like an onslaught of calculated violence while vocalist Jim Hodge screams down at you without the slightest hint of pity. This is unrelenting and unforgiving.
While “Nil By Mouth” is a furious single it is not without an immense layer of groove thrown on top. The main riff that carries through is infectious while the bass causes everything in the background to shake off its hinges. There’s also an eclectic mixture of vocal stylings here, keeping a range of high-pitched shrieks to the low crawling gutturals normally found in brutal death metal acts, which to me perform like a separate bass track that accompanies the main guitar and thickens the overall sound. And then before you realize it the song simply ends, bringing the four-and-a-half minute track to a screeching halt that will make you play it back to see what you might have missed.
Bork is due out on 08/31 and is available for pre-order here.