MASTIFF - Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth
November 19, 2021, a year ago
Hats off to Entertainment One for signing this UK-based band, who you'd more expect to find at home on Relapse than where they ended up, and that's just the beginning of the cool surprises from Mastiff. I must admit I've never heard this band until now, but they have a couple other albums that I now realize I need to immediately check out based on the excellence of this one.
The sludging, slow-mo, speaker-wrecking opener “The Hiss” is prime-era Relapse atmospheric sludge, and then when that slow burn finally comes to a noise-drenched close, the feedback and production and grinding of next cut “Fail” immediately bring to mind heavyweights like Converge and the underrated All Pigs Must Die. “Repulse” has a slower groove to it, but in a noisy, '90s-metalcore sense, bringing to mind sonic trailblazers like Keelhaul or Botch, but more straight-ahead than either of those bands. It's a great sound, Mastiff just plugging through and destroying, production absolutely what it should be for this sort of sound: noisy and ugly but huge and clear all at once. When this song drops into a near-simplistic hardcore part, it's awesome; when it drops even further into a back-breaking sludge part, man, it's wonderful agony. Then “Midnight Creeper” delivers 1:49 of grinding chaos and “Futile” takes it even lower and slower. As the album goes forward, the beatings just continue and continue, until it all comes to a great, noisy, sludging close with the seven-minute “Lung Rust”, a bit predictable perhaps, but also exactly how this album should end.
Right up there with Full Of Hell, going beyond Iron Monkey, easily on a bill with Eyehategod and impressing everyone in attendance, Mastiff have made a great album here, one that hopefully Entertainment One will use their budget to get to the audience it deserves.