SPITE – Dedication To Flesh (Album Review)

SPITE – Dedication To Flesh
Released: August 19, 2022

Line-up:

Darius Tehrani | vocals
Ben Bamford | bass
Josh Slater | drums
Alex Tehrani | guitars
Lucas Garrigues | guitars

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Three years following the release of their critically acclaimed record The Root of All Evil, Californian deathcore titans, SPITE, are back and signed to Rise Records with a new fourth record to please the masses that make up their cult following. Dedication to Flesh is a disgusting, thrilling and violent record that has successfully captured the essence of their live shows, which was a goal that main songwriter Alex Tehrani had from the outset of creating this album.

While the name itself wasn’t intended to be a reference to the smash hit Netflix series Stranger Things, it’s very hard to not think of Vecna stalking towards you as the creepy atmosphere and disembodied voices of album opener ‘Lord of the Upside Down’ immediately fills you with a sense of dread before the band kicks in with one of the toughest starting guns of the year. Pulling no punches, drummer Josh Slater and bassist Ben Bamford make their presence known and hold it down as a unified rhythm section, pummelling your ears with blistering drumming and thuddy bass that you can truly feel. Darius Tehrani’s vocal performance really sells the nihilistic tone of the song that presents the idea of apocalypse being a current event and the world’s looming change into something much worse.

‘Caved In’ is a fast, unforgiving f*ck you track dedicated to people who take advantage of others for their own personal gains. Alex Tehrani & Lucas Garrigues’ performances on this track and the album as a whole really showcase their talents for rapid riffs and punishing breakdowns. There’s a great blend of technicality and just pure, unadulterated CHUG. ‘Proper One’ is very interesting; its bouncy Lamb of God-esque musicality serves as a great juxtaposition for the lyrical content. 

Horror appears to be a common theme throughout this record, as a sickening sample from the mockumentary film The Poughkeepsie Tapes introduces ‘Made to Please’, a thrashing, groovy cautionary tale on predators based on Darius’ personal experience. ‘Some Things You Should Know…’ makes for a cathartic listen as the frustration of being isolated during COVID is so clearly conveyed through each member’s performance. Title track ‘Dedication to Flesh’ is just so infectiously catchy and motivational, you can’t help but move your head and feel like you can take on anybody who tries to stand in your way.

After six tracks of non-stop relent, ‘The Most Ugly’ offers the briefest moment to catch your breath as carefully structured production creates a foreboding atmosphere that builds into a thrilling entr’acte for the second half of this record, and does what it set out to do; prove the Tehrani Brothers’ family wrong. They have made something of their career in music and couldn’t be better. ‘Fear’ is a short, savage, hardcore-tinged track that just oozes violence and is sure to kill a few people in the pit, while immediate follow-up ‘The Son of Dawn’ serves as a great companion to the album’s opening track in its tone of doom, apocalypse and the destruction of life, bolstered by gross gutturals and a pleasantly surprising guitar solo.

While it is an interlude, ‘Sounds for the Descent’ offers zero opportunity to relax. The unnerving soundscapes and manipulated feedback really make you grit your teeth and fear what comes next. ‘Hangman’ takes another harsh look at the mental toll COVID took on us as we were forced to live through endless days of staying at home, straining our connections with others and losing all sense of normality. The seamless transition into album closer ‘Crumble’ is surprising and steals your breath for one last dizzying ride on the SPITE roller coaster, and will no doubt be the anthem for anyone who never got the last word after a relationship fell apart.

Dedication To Flesh is an uncomfortable but ultimately cathartic listening experience. With phenomenal songwriting, relatable and well-written lyrics that dare to explore the darkest parts of the human psyche, SPITE have cleverly crafted an atmosphere that never falters in its attempt to make you feel filthy.

SPITE – Dedication to Flesh tracklisting:

1. Lord of the Upside Down
2. Caved In
3. Proper One
4. Made to Please
5. Some Things You Should Know…
6. Dedication to Flesh
7. The Most Ugly
8. Fear
9. The Son of Dawn
10. Sounds for the Descent
11. Hangman
12. Crumble

Rating: 8.5/10
Dedication to Flesh is Out Now via Rise Records. Purchase here
Review By Ollie Midson. Insta – @olivermidson

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