Album: God Has a Plan – EP
Faith—if faith was as good as cash, there’d be people around the world (deserving and otherwise) who would be richer than Bill Gates. It’s like water for the desperate and the downtrodden—like air for those without hope and cast asunder by society. It’s a currency that has no end; as long as you believe in something, your relative wealth is boundless. So put your faith in something. Put it in God, put it in a church, put it in a religion, put it in some being in the sky. Put it wherever you want.
Because it won’t help you once North Carolinian downtempo deathcore outfit Filth are done with you.
The brainchild of the same heavy-hitters behind deathcore veterans Impale the Betrayer and groove-tinted aggressors InVoker are back with Filth’s sophomore effort—and if you thought Tales from the Gutter was gutwrenchingly heavy and laden with despair, then chances are, you simply aren’t ready for what God Has a Plan has in store for you. The product of visceral, bitter and depressive anguish slathered in grit and grime, then dusted with hints of atmosphere and nu-metal aggression, God Has a Plan is punishment in its finest and most unrefined form. So put your faith wherever you think it might save you. Me? I’m going to put my faith in Filth.
God Has a Plan is such a massive-sounding release that it’s almost impossible to believe that Filth are only a four-piece band. These North Carolinian annihilators come out swinging with “Covet,” the first and potentially most straightforward track that the group have to offer. Here, percussionist Tilly Huss is terrifying—a titan behind the kit—providing monstrous, crushing drums that the listener can feel shaking their bones and splitting their sanity in twain. Whether it’s the piercing, sharp chime of the bell before the first soul-smothering breakdown of “Covet,” or the pummeling, fill-heavy and raunchy “Libertine,” Huss’ drumming may not be hurried (very little about Filth’s down-tuned, down-tempo assault is hurried), but it is horrendously heavy and positively relentless; a trend that continues when it comes to bassist Sean Britt and guitarist David Gantt’s insidious fretwork. “Collapse II,” as well as the sophomore single “Apparition,” see Britt and Gantt working at almost the same tone–with Britt’s bass popping and snapping like a steamroller crushing a field of skeletons, and Gantt’s grisly, low guitar only raising up from a muddy, sludgy groove to bewilder the listener with off-the-wall effects and quick, flashy nu-infused riffs that take a break from beating the listener bluntly only to cut their guts wide open. Britt and Gantt are every bit as ferocious as they were on Tales from the Gutter, but more refined and intelligent, channeling aggression through a darker and more devastating place, creating moments of spirit-stealing, flesh-rotting, soul-decaying brutality that weave in and out between moments of bouncy, bold grooves that seem to come out of nowhere to prevent monotony and, in the process, make the heavy parts heavier.
But it doesn’t get any easier to swallow the more God Has a Plan continues; no, much like their name would imply, Filth pour into the listener’s throat, eyes, nose and—of course—their ears, filling every orifice with grime. It’s true of Gantt’s guitarwork, Britt’s bass and Huss’ drumming, but it’s exceptionally true of frontman Dustin Mitchell’s vocals. Even when Mitchell goes tete-a-tete with some of heavy music’s biggest names, Adam Warren and Trevor Strnad (Oceano and The Black Dahlia Murder, respectively, if you’ve been living in a hole for the last ten years), he still manages to sound larger than life and more livid than all of Hell itself. “Collapse II” seems more contemplative, with lyrics turning to points of near-introspection, whereas “Libertine” and “Apparition” are blitzing displays of relentless hatred. “Covet” probably has it right, however—because when Mitchell bellows that he has all of Hell inside him, that sounds as if it might, honest to God, be an understatement. Mitchell might have been at the top of his game when he belted syllables of scathing hatred on Tales from the Gutter, but the game has changed—and fortunately for Filth, Mitchell has proven he is more than able to adapt.
They said downtempo deathcore was dead—the turning of 2016 into 2017 had people ushering in the deathcore revival as if it were the second coming of Jesus Christ. I don’t blame them—but Filth are proof that downtempo is far from dead. Taking downtuned aggression and slowing it down to a snails pace such that it drags with toxic, torturous pain across the listener’s eardrums, God Has a Plan is self-hatred and self-deprication turned into a vile, visceral outward aggression. Oppressive from start to finish and so thick it practical clogs the listener’s ears with dread, God Has a Plan is the loud, boisterous, brutalizing declaration that low and slow is carrying on with pride and power into the new year.
For Fans Of: Bodysnatcher, InVoker, REX, Feign, Falsifier
by: Connor Welsh