Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Let me just start off by saying England's MASTIFF are heavy as fuck. If you need to read on, by all means do so. But really, that's all you need to know. After a couple of ep's, a demo and a live album, "Plague" is the band's second studio album. Mixing sludge, a little hardcore and a tinge of doom, MASTIFF have composed an album full of crunching guitars, aggressive vocals and thudding drums leading to monstrous breakdowns and riveting moshpit-inducing riffs.
Opening track 'Hellcircle' begins with some noise before exploding into a goddamn frenzy of mulching guitars and intimidating vocals. MASTIFF set the tone early on for an album that never fucking stops in its tumultuous delivery. 'Bubonic' continues the mayhem in its bloodthirsty angst. Jim Hodge (vocals), Phil Johnson (guitars), James Andrew Lee (guitars), Daniel Dolby (bass) and Michael Shepherd (drums) are confident in their task of pounding us with their wall of fury. Third track 'Brainbleed' is sure to cause serious injury on the venue floor.
The high-speed attack of the opening leads to an abrupt doom-filled slowdown segueing into 'Quarantine', with its annihilating blitzkrieg of sheer terror. I mean, fuck...Can the album get any heavier? The answer is simply...Yes. 'Vermin' is a regurgitation of explosive drums, chugging guitars and bullying gurgles. Sixth track 'Torture' is a mid-tempo number that reminds me of being tortured by a one-armed maniac with a transgendered mime watching on from a distance. Next track 'Weep' continues the barrage of hatred as final track 'Black Death' is nine minutes of pure doom.
If "Plague" doesn't get your blood boiling, then you must be fucking dead. From beginning to end, from alpha to omega, this album will simply dominate your senses until your ears bleed putridity.
- David Simonton