Death metal is always the kind of thing that, as a band, you can approach the style with as much power and undeath as you please, but that doesn’t automatically make you a good band. It takes a multitude of other things to keep the style going in a seemingly stale scene at times, yet it’s massive bands coming out of nowhere like Firespawn that keep the spirit thriving in all its bloody gory. Firespawn’s debut was very solid, but it’s “The Reprobate” that truly shows what this group is capable of, and it’s horrifying the absolute best way.
Whenever I think of a band that truly doesn’t hold anything back with their brand of death metal and has made a killing off of it (get it?) is Cannibal Corpse, naturally. Yet, there are always a few bands that rocket up the rungs of the death metal leaderboards, and Firespawn shot up at the speed of light with their debut, “Shadow Realms”. I always felt that this band could do more given the illustrious combined experience of the band members, and my faith seems to have been justly rewarded as “The Reprobate” is just about everything one could hope for out of a death record that defines the term “go for the throat”. Bar an anthem that’s a real show-stopper, Firespawn truly out did themselves with this record, and you can feel it in every single track as they can all easily stand alone as a single if the band pleased, which is something that takes quite a talented group to accomplish. “The Reprobate” throws together stunning work of the fret board, the kind of death metal growls that the genre is infamous for that work so fucking well, an approach that leaves nothing but your charred corpse as remains, and an overall performance that is by very definition unrelenting brutality. All you could possibly hope for is accomplished with “The Reprobate”, and it’s an amazing ride of evil intent every single time.
I had always had the tiny, lingering fear that somehow Firespawn wouldn’t live up to their promising debut, and thankfully my worries have once again been rendered pointless as the resulting follow-up is an album that gets nothing but two thumbs way up from me. “The Reprobate” is massive, vicious, and an absolute predator of an album in every single fucking way.
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