Spite – ‘Dedication To Flesh’

By Dave Stewart

If you’re a metalhead that likes your metal to be so far over the heavy side of the line that it makes Slipknot sound like they write Disney soundtracks, then Californian quintet Spite are probably already a very large glowing dot on your radar. Just in case you haven’t heard of them though, they’re a seriously vicious deathcore band fronted by one of modern metals most promising vocal talents, Darius Tehrani, and the punch that they’re able to deliver both on record and on stage has been making tsunami-sized waves over the last few years.

Following a forced spell away from touring due to the pandemic, Spite thrust themselves into writing their brand new album, ‘Dedication To Flesh’. The album is designed to be an accurate representation of the lethal and fervent chaos that their live shows provide, but have they actually captured it?

Spoiler alert; they have.

Wasting no time making their intentions known, ‘Lord Of The Upside Down’ boots the doors open and very quickly reveals that they mean business. With brutal and urgent riffs, tortured vocals and a catastrophic breakdown that’s introduced by Tehrani bellowing – “suffer for eternity”, it quickly becomes clear that this isn’t an album for the faint of heart. Strap in folks, they’re only getting started.

‘Made To Please’ is a rollercoaster ride through hell, with a relentless pace that only slows down to slowly drag you through passages of manic laughter and crushing breakdowns. ‘Fear’ is a spiky wrecking ball of destruction, somehow getting heavier with every progressing section. There’s the unflinching rage of ‘Proper One’, the bludgeoning ‘The Son Of Dawn’, the almost overwhelming primal rage captured within ‘Some Things You Should Know’ and so much more. If you’ve been looking for an album full to the brim of unrelenting heaviness, you’ve found it.

Don’t get me wrong, this album is as crushing as they come, but it isn’t just one level of intensity. It breathes and moves just as a wild beast would and it keeps the suspense and sense of unpredictability at a fever pitch throughout, ensuring that you’re never really prepared for the next strike. ‘The Most Ugly’ is oozing with ominous black metal undertones, ‘Hangman’ evolves into a hardcore-influenced pit anthem, the title track captures everything that the record offers in one big monolithic package, and the band steps between them all with ease. For a band so early in their career, this is quite the masterclass.

This album feels genuinely dangerous, and that’s so exciting. Metal is always painted by mainstream and commercial media to be a genre that’s scary and threatening, which just isn’t true for the majority of the bands that occupy it, but when you apply that description to Spite you can’t help but agree that it fits perfectly.

The anger and rage that’s spilling out of Tehrani throughout the album doesn’t feel like an act that was put on in the studio; it feels genuine, and the urgent, forceful and intense music paints him to be a terrifying monster, teeth gnashing and ravenous. If you’re after a relentless metal thriller that sees that beast stalk, hunt and tirelessly attack you, then look no further.

If this record doesn’t make you want to see Spite live, I don’t know what will. After enduring the pandemic and having live music taken away from them, they injected all that cathartic energy into this album and the end result is spine-tinglingly perfect. ‘Dedication To Flesh’ completely horror-fuelled and terrifying album in the absolute best way possible.

DAVE STEWART

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