Following on from their last full-length, 2017’s ‘Nothing Is Beautiful’, Californian deathcore merchants Spite are back with a punishing follow-up, ‘The Root Of All Evil’.
Opener ‘Reign In Hell’ has a teasing intro, with the song fading in and out quickly, with intermittent noises literally left, right and centre that may make you wonder if there’s something wrong with your headphones. What follows is their very mechanical, and very furious take on deathcore, which is unrestrained and straight-to-the-point. The track ends with an ominous-sounding noises, which certainly brings the suspense.
‘The Offering’ is a track that places more reliance on beatdown-inspired sections, and solid chugging. There’s also a good build-up, and a decent mosh call before the track ends.
‘Deadset’ more resembles a hardcore track, complete with full-frontal aggression, and there’s palpable anger from vocalist Darius Tehrani. It’s easy to see why they were selected to tour with Whitechapel and Dying Fetus; this is a pissed off record indeed. ‘All I Know Is Hate’ also has a smart changeover from a slow, lumbering groove into fast, frantic hardcore mayhem.
The only problem evident here is that, in spite of some impressive drum chops on ‘Judgment Day’, a song like this generally feels too generic and in line with the well-trodden deathcore formula. There are also parts where some riffs are drawn out for much longer than is necessary, with many of them being the archetypal one-note riffs. Though these might be a defining characteristic of contemporary deathcore at large, they don’t half get boring after a while.
But, thankfully, there’s a clear highlight with the album’s titular track. The cleverly-placed bell sounds add something a little extra, and when the breakdown hits, it’s certainly furious.
After the seemingly obligatory industrial interlude ‘Unrest’, ‘Incarcerated’ picks up where we left off, but it’s largely one-dimensional and at the same dynamic. The riffs have plenty of weight but feel a bit too familiar.
‘Doom’ is also very much deathcore 101, where the chugging is at its most monotonous. Rather than leaving you wondering what happens next, it remains locked in the same patterns for a long period of time, which unfortunately kills any momentum that there was.
It’s not all bad, though. ‘Killzone’ shows that they can clearly switch things up, a characteristic which leads to the breakdowns having a lot more potency than before. They’re certainly capable of employing a less rigid approach to greater effect on a future release.
All-in-all, ‘The Root Of All Evil’ is a solid release with enough enjoyable moments, serving as a furious album which leaves Spite with plenty of room to grow still.