The south bay area has had an axe to grind against the neck of society for decades but in recent years the mounting steam beneath the San Jose extremist underground has consistently gassed up quality creeps obsessed with the best of punk and death past-and-present that surrounds them. It is no small treat for fans of the inaugural releases from the smaller beginnings of labels like Relapse, Nuclear Blast, and Earache as they were largely born supporting the rising extremity of hardcore by way of extreme metal sub-genre crossover. Deadpressure arrived as a similar species of beast by association and influence of later (and far earlier) generations in looking to the rise of powerviolence, the staying power of classic hardcore punk, and the type of grindcore band that always keeps an extra bong in the trunk. Four years in and on the outs with one third of their trio the band would welcome in Colin Tarvin (Mortuous, ex-Bruxers) on bass and see expansion further outside of the powerviolence unto death and with more capable representation of their collective influences.
That is to say Deadpressure are a heavier, deeper lunging grindcore beast on their debut self-titled LP as they incorporate elements of doom, hardcore, death metal, crust and powerviolence. In citing His Hero Is Gone, Neurosis, and Dead Congregation as key points of interest in their work Deadpressure‘s sound has clearly changed since 2015 with less of the Slap-a-Ham stuff informing their rhythms and riffs without losing any of the hardcore slap they’d had since forming. As they dip from sludge/doom stunts to neocrust blasts and death metal roars all I could think of was the early progression of Oakland band Benümb leading up to ‘Soul Of The Martyr’ at least if I discount some of the actual hardcore punk that acts as the glue for Deadpressure‘s sound. Of course I’m just as much of a death metal dipshit and couldn’t help but think of Deathcore‘s ‘Spontaneous Underground’ and pre-‘Been Caught Buttering’ Pungent Stench just in terms of translating grindcore into current death metal atmospherics; Modern equivalencies would perhaps come as a fusion of something in between Abuse., Cripple Bastards and the filthy horror of Vastum.
However convoluted my own associations might be you get the general idea: Old punk, new (old) death metal kicks, and grindcore in various combinations. I’m of a certain mindset that ‘real’ crust never really worked in combination with grindcore… Whoa, calm down I mean at least not as well as 80’s hardcore punk and that observation comes with the best of powerviolence as proof, as such I might be predispositioned towards Deadpressure‘s general sphere of influence. The attack of ‘Deadpressure’ offers enough variation that most of the less inspired hardcore riffs don’t stick around long enough to become a nuisance and I ended up with few complaints across well over twenty or so spins. The one thing that bums me out is the Billy Bob Thornton clip from the first seasons of Fargo, I mean I love the clip itself but it lasts almost a minute and briefly kills the extreme tension that the middle of the record builds so well. No great cloud of complaints otherwise.
This debut full-length from Deadpressure makes a great first impression and takes a good while to exhaust of its heaviest hits and catchier grinding and I can easily recommend it to folks who are on board with groups that fill the spaces in between powerviolence, fastcore, grindcore, and deathgrind. It goes to multiple extremes and generally maintains the Deadpressure thread without sounding like a late 80’s grindcore compilation. For preview I’d recommend “The Snake and the Shepherd” to see where they take that early His Hero is Gone influence, “United Waste” for the deathgrind peak of the record, and “Secret Name Game” for a representative mashing of the driving elements of Deadpressure‘s sound.
Despair stands as a monument to hell. 4.0/5.0
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