I can’t help it. I think it all started when “We’ll never make a fuckin’ video!” METALLICA began its not so long, not so slow slide down the greased colon that is mainstream acceptance and fortune/fame over quality. So when Yorkshire lads MASTIFF signed to multi-media conglomerate eOne for 2021’s Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth, I was a bit trepidatious, let’s say. Thankfully, nothing changed but the name on the spine of the CD/record, as that album included some of the best work the band had put to tape yet.

Still on eOne (now rebranded as MNRK Music Group, and under its MNRK Heavy imprint), MASTIFF returns with Deprecipice, an album born of the feeling, at least for a few members, of not being part of the sense of elation as the specter of COVID-19 loomed a bit less large. ‘Bite Radius’ lives up to its name, head-down and hard-charging collision with the band’s namesake, much more hardcore than the sludge for which the band is often hailed. Full of INTEGRITY / RINGWORM venom and vigor, ‘Everything Is Ending’ is raucous, but never quite matches the intensity of its influences, the breakdown section at the midpoint something even a half-blind listener could’ve seen coming from the start of the song.

‘Cut Throat’ begins, all noise and audio clutter, and it’s honestly glorious. Anything that has me checking to see if a speaker’s blown is instantly impressive, and this is the most scattered, most mayhem driven I’ve heard from MASTIFF in a bit. Jagged, almost IRON MONKEY insanity rides high in ‘Skin Stripper’, another plus from any outfit, and into ‘Serrated’, an equally fast-paced and equally scathing rumble when it gets going, the tandem vocals of Hodge and Ross elevating above the norm.

How do you feel about TANGERINE DREAM heard through the filter of MERZBOW? Then ‘The Shape’ is here for you, tightening the screws for the emotional dirge of ‘Thorn Trauma’.

Deprecipice proves once more, still nothing changed but the name on the spine. Not bad for a band from the same label family that brought us the soundtrack to the My Little Pony: A New Generation movie and music from Peppa Pig, right?
Review By: Lord Randall

MNRK Heavy