Dripback are a classic case of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Their appearance may hold more in common with the likes of deathcore superstars¸ Emmure¸ but their sound couldn’t be further from it. Essentially what these London lads are doing is blending the extremity of death metal and grindcore with the swagger of hardcore and the atmosphere of black metal. It’s a mix that on paper may seem a little far-fetched¸ but on record – and as a live prospect – it totally works.
Produced by Napalm Death and Evile producer¸ Russ Russell¸ ‘Inhaling the Ashes’ is a lesson in pure¸ unremitting¸ sonic violence. From the opening rumbles of bass off ‘Hold Your Horses’ to the closing brutality of ‘Under the Floor’¸ Dripback set out a merciless agenda to rip the metal scene a new one. No stones are left unturned¸ no bases go uncovered – these guys cover the full spectrum of heavy music in 2012 and do so with aplomb.
‘Inhaling the Ashes’ does have its flaws: the band seems to have only two speed settings. They’re either going fast or they’re going slow. There’s not much in between and the tempos that they use are more less the same. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily detract from the effect that it has on the listener¸ once you’ve heard ‘Kick out Time’ and ‘No God¸ No Master’¸ you’ll no doubt feel like you’ve got to grips with the band’s formula. The black metal moments however¸ do go some way to disproving this and to be honest there are countless other bands out there that could have the same criticism levelled at them. At the end of the day¸ Dripback aren’t Wolves in the Throne Room; they’re a snarling crossbreed of heaviness and in that sense¸ they’ve hit the nail bang on the head.
For a six-track EP¸ ‘Inhaling the Ashes’ goes a pretty long way to pleasing the ears. The success the band has in fusing genres¸ alone deserves credit. And with the current wave of crusty hardcore bands pouring in from the States¸ it now seems right to declare Dripback as the U.K.’s answer to Trap Them and Black Breath.
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