It has been five years since Arizona-based Deadspawn released their second EP, but in between times they have suffered some line-up changes and it is only now they have returned with their debut album. It comes to something when I start thinking that a blackened death release feels somewhat commercial: I don’t know if that is because music has generally started working to the extremes or if I just listen to way too much of this sort of thing! Anyway, whatever the reason, this has way more going for it than what I would expect from this style of music as there is definitely an underlying groove which one would normally associate more with nu-metal and I can definitely hear Sepultura influences in what they are doing, alongside the likes of Morbid Angel and Hate. Both guitarists and bassist provide vocals, which are definitely more in the black metal vein than death, yet everything seems way more melodic than I would normally expect. There is plenty of space within the guitars, and while they do all lock it down at times, and have plenty of speed when the time is required, there are also plenty of hooks and the more I played this the more I was really getting into it. I’m not sure if the band name is actually going to do them a disservice, as it may put off those into more mainstream metal from investigating them and that would be a shame as there is a lot here to enjoy. Commercial blackened death nu-metal anyone? It certainly works for me, and it may well work for you as well.
8/10 Kev Rowland