There is a demon that lives within you. It finds a home in the gyri and sulci of your brain. It weaves through your ribs like a serpent and infects your heart like a worm. It is ever negative feeling you’ve ever had—every ounce of loathing, anguish, anger, depression and bitterness—and it grows larger by the second. It stays dormant, feeding on our most vile ambitions and whispering urges of violence and depravity into your head, guiding your hand towards darkness and away from light. It is crushing misanthropy, it is disgust for mankind and it is self-loathing so foul you can smell it before it even enters the room.
It is Spite, and it will bring out the worst in every one of us.
Leaping into the heavy music scene with a skull-shattering debut EP just one year ago, Spite have fed on the overwhelming praise gained by Misery like a tapeworm feeds off of the nourishment of its host. Fully grown and more furious than ever before, the quintet are back with an album that puts the releases of their peers to shame, taking 2015—and the entire heavy music community—by storm, leaving nothing alive in its wake.
Instrumentally, it is safe to say that Spite are unlike any other band currently tearing up the heavy music underground. With groovy, catchy passages reminiscent of The Last Ten Seconds of Life, insidious, evil riffs from yesteryear’s Deathcore and bouncy, bold segments similar to Rex or Bodysnatcher, Spite is a dynamic blend of crush, catchiness and colorful technicality—and their full length album is an excellent example. From the first beefy kick drum hits and sharp, snappy snare slam, percussionist Cody Fuentes serves as the band’s malicious, murderous heart—setting the pace for every track, be it hectic and quick or sludgy and slow. His outstanding work on “Snap,” as well as the jarring speed during the introduction of “Night Terrors” showcases Fuentes’ fleet feet and flashy skill—while the world ending climax to “Free For All” sees him working hand in hand with Stephen Mallory to create, what is simply put one of the most brutalizing things the listener will have ever heard. Mallory’s masterful bass is omnipresent, constantly adding heft and punch to every groove, kick drum hit and brain-melting breakdown. Where quicker songs like “Death Sentence” and “Snap” see him moving fluidly alongside Fuentes’ fleet footwork, slower and heavier songs—“Digging Pt. 1” and “Free For All” especially—make the most of his mammoth tone to add to the unbelievable aggression of guitarists Lucas Garrigues and Alex Tehrani. There isn’t much to say about Garrigues and Tehrani’s fretwork others an the fact that it is simply perfect. Matching every pattern and groove to a tee, while all the while lashing out with nu-metal tinted bounce and skin-splitting shred, the duo give every track a unique and unmistakable feeling—a feeling that gets more and more invasive as the album progresses, until finally, the listener cannot bear it any longer.
When the devil that is Spite rips out from beneath your flesh, it doesn’t do so silently—nor does it writhe forth with a whimper. It erupts, roaring violently with terrifying tenacity. Such is the effort thrust upon the listener by frontman Darius Tehrani. If Spite’s instrumentation is unique (and it is), then Tehrani’s vocals are one-of-a-kind—the very sound of all Hell screaming in guttural, grisly unison. His fast candor throughout “Snap” and his beastly roars in “Free For All”—along with his excellent, evil lyricism in “Leeches” all culminate to give birth to what is simply a perfect lyrical and vocal display of talent. Tehrani’s ferocious, gasping growls and guttural gurgles are joined together by jarring, jagged mid-range yells and be occasional whispered interlude. Whether it’s the amazing cue to the climactic breakdown in “Outsiders,” or the speed and sinister rasp of “Free For All” and “Snap,” Tehrani can do no wrong—in a full length album with zero guest spots, he manages to be diverse enough to keep the listener engaged, talented in every range he utilizes—which is just about every scream, shout, growl or gurgle imaginable.
Spite’s self-titled album is a full-blown temper-tantrum from Satan himself. Every second of every song sees Spite working diligently as a cohesive, crushing juggernaut fueled by misanthropy and malevolence in an effort to squander the listener’s sanity. From the subtle, foreboding introduction, through the rollicking first half, eerie interlude and earth-shaking climax, Spite surge forward at a million miles per hour without making a single misstep. Even the opening to “Night Terrors”—what is probably the weakest part of the album overall—is still by any other band’s standards exceptional. Spite poison the listener’s blood with insipid evil that flourishes into a contagious sickness that is as lethal as it is catchy. Not quite deathcore, not quite downtempo and not quite nu-metalcore, Spite is the thrashy amalgam of all three, with an intangible something extra to make them truly incredible.
Strong from start to finish and as excellent on its first play through as its one-hundred-and-first, Spite’s self-titled album is a masterpiece of modern heavy music. When you give way to the devil lurking beneath your skin, you will see only red and hear one thing: SPITE.
For Fans Of: The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Rex, Bodysnatcher, Regions
By: Connor Welsh