REVIEW: DEATHSQUAD – Stay One [2018/Slam Worldwide]

Artist: Deathsquad 

Album: Stay One 


As we get older, we tend to get a pretty good idea of the things we like and we don’t like—we know the bands, flavors, styles and people we have a figurative taste for and the ones that…well, we don’t. While it might not be as divisive as judging a book by its cover, it comes close—there are things most people develop a natural aversion to just because they tried something like it once and, well, it sucked. 

I’m that way. You probably are too. It’s not a bad thing. 

So when I was approached about reviewing a one-man slamming beatdown act from the barren depths of Russia, I was… 


However, all of my reservations were quickly put to rest, as Deathsquad takes the same approach to over-the-top, abrasive and aggressive music in 2018 that Above This did in the top of the decade. Stay One defies “ignorance” and “brutal” and, honestly, can only really be described as one amalgamation of a word: Ignan’t. Releasing in the coming weeks through Slam Worldwide, Deathsquad is a crushing, devastating of fun, furious aggression that takes subtlety and technicality and chucks it out the window, using samples, gunshots, airhorns and bass-heavy slams to beat the ever-living Hell out of the listener. 


Deathsquad tackle a beefy, thick and tremendous beatdown hardcore sound and style and take it to the ground, coating it in a gritty, bass-heavy and sludgy coat of slamming aggression that gives the band the “slamming beatdown” moniker that Stay One so proudly boasts. I already know what you’re thinking—if you aren’t familiar with the genre, I mean—slamming beatdown sounds really, really corny. And it is, but that’s the glory of it. Stay One is an over-the-top assault of pure belligerent aggression. Filled with straightforward riffs, pounding drums and enough gunshot samples to incite a PTSD flashback, Deathsquad is a one-man war machine of no-holds-barred aggression that doesn’t try to do anything tactfully, aiming only in dismembering the listener in just over a half an hour. Songs like “Kill Love,” which might be the most fun the listener will have listening to a heavy band all year, are a great example of this. Low, lurid guitar parts, drums that range from machine gun speed to snail-like, sledge-hammer heaviness and slam after slam (after airhorn sample) after slam to flatten the listener to dust. Other songs–“STFU” for one—is a little less slamming and a little more beatdown friendly, using more up-beat tempos and fast-footed work to keep the listener’s head and heart hammering away. While the album lapses into monotony throughout its half-hour run-time, it does so in a way where the listener simultaneously loses track of time—as tracks like “No Respect,” “We Are Here” and “M.O.B.” Seem to just keep the listener seeing a thick shade of red, wanting to swing at literally anything within arms reach. 

The ignorance—sorry, ignance—doesn’t end with the immolating instrumental approach taken by this one-man juggernaut of a band. Deathsquad’s voracious vocal element spews syllable after syllable of pure hate in styles that range from gut-blistering gutturals to raw, shouted yells and more. I’ll be real—I don’t have a fucking clue what’s being said most of the time—but that isn’t the point. You might not know what the man behind Stay One is saying, but you definitely know what he means. Anger and energy flows through every word and makes the listener see red regardless of the language barrier that might be present. Again—technical prowess or prodigal talent isn’t the point of Deathsquad as much as the raw energy is, and energy comes in droves with this release. “No Respect” is an excellent example—as is “Kill Love” and the rambunctious opening number to the album. Deathsquad promise devastation and destruction with their name, and their vocals—coupled with the violence captured by their musicianship—delivers. 

Stay One is a frill-free release. It doesn’t aim for technical acclaim or critical praise. It’s pissed, it’s raw, it’s ruthless and it makes the listener see nothing but red. Deathsquad is one man delivering ten men’s worth of punishment with each track. Fun and catchy while being the definition of heavy, Stay One is likely to Stay in your lifting playlist for weeks to come. 



For Fans Of: Drowning, Bodysnatcher, Desolated, Sanctioned 

By: Connor Welsh