To say we live in turbulent times is an understatement. With capitalism pushing the earth to the brink of climate collapse, private companies bleeding communities and individuals dry, and far-right organisations popping up all over the globe with the sole aim of dividing us in pursuit of power and wealth, there’s a lot to be angry about in 2021. Oh, and we’re living through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. On Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth Kingston upon Hull’s Mastiff have turned their anger at the state of the world into an album of pure nihilistic bile, producing an ugly yet thoroughly addictive work of art that is both cathartic and exhausting.
Opener ‘The Hiss’ is a crawling throb of malevolence, all humming feedback and death march drums that culminate abruptly before the pummelling blackened grind of ‘Fail’ slams you against the wall and rips your nerves to shreds. This is an album that doesn’t let up; from the misery-laden sludgefest ‘Futile’ to the razorblade filled tornado of ‘Endless’ and the merciless stomp and reforcity of ‘Scalped’, it’s a rough ride to say the least. Credit has to be given to producer Joe Clayton here too, who has somehow managed to just about contain the chaos and let each individual band member shine. The face ripping vocals of Jim Hodge are a standout feature of the band’s sound, but Mastiff are also equipped with one of the filthiest rhythm sections out there, with the rumbling bass of Dan Dolby and precise, colossal drumming of Michael Shepherd being the perfect foil for guitarists James Andrew Lee and Phil Johnson on which to lay down their nasty riffs.
Unrelentingly bleak and merciless, on Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth, all hope is certainly gone. But if the ship is indeed sinking, at least we can drown in a barrage of filthy riffs and hate filled tunes as we go under. And if the world hasn’t ended by then, make sure to Mastiff on tour with Calligram this autumn as they obliterate venues up and down the UK. You’ve been warned.
Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth is out 10th September via eOne and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg