The UK’s Spreading The Disease look intent on spreading their filthy groove metal far and wide if their internet presence is anything to go by. Proudly pushing and selflessly promoting each and every element of the UK metal underground scene – from bands, to webzines, to online radio, to festivals and everything else in between – these guys are true ambassadors for working hard and embracing the community we are all a part of.
Well, now it’s our turn to give back and promote their latest release, the Virus EP, that proves the Americans aren’t the only ones to have this groove metal lark sewn up!
The song titles speak for themselves; “F.U.C.K.U.”, “Bulldozer”, “Lost Generation”, “Evolution”. This is aggressive groove metal, amped up with enough nihilistic brutality to lead an army to war and paints Spreading The Disease as a potential force to be reckoned with. With elements of the obvious Pantera present, influences appear to also extend to the underrated Pissing Razors, the might of classic Slipknot and the rhythmic interplay of Devildriver. Strong comparisons to live up to but there’s enough brain-stomping grooves, heavy-ass riffs and throat-thrashing vocals to warrant the connections.
“F.U.C.K.U.” – who doesn’t love a song title that’s get straight to the bullish point – is the call to arms that should see Spreading The Disease crawling into the heart valves of the disaffected and the disavowed. A song so intensely and imperiously angry that you can feel the hateful spit and bile hitting you full on in the face with each and every scream; it’s a cathartic experience and then some!
On the flip-side, if we are to truly critique Viral, it’s the Jeff Loomis-esque warbled backing vocals that prove a minor irritation, they’re neither offensive or badly delivered just not really necessary. This band work best when they are going straight for the throat – which they do a lot – but the ‘melodic’ vocal layering feels trite. That said, the gravel-ravaged singing that opens the exceptional “Bulldozer” fits like a glove, it’s just those backing vocals that detract from the excessively aggressive power otherwise generated.
Overall, Viral is an impressive EP and in the words of the band themselves; “if you want heavy, you got it!”. We want it and we want more of it! 7/10