Album Reviews

EP Review: Depravity – A Poison Tree


Release Date: 12th February 2021

Label: Self-released

For Fans Of: Knocked Loose, Hatebreed, Malevolence


Just when you thought the breakdown couldn’t get any slower… Metallic hardcore band Depravity are back with their second EP A Poison Tree, and are promising to put a permanent stink face on every listener who hears their disgusting riffs.

It’s been four years since the Essex five piece’s previous release Life Is Pain, showcasing their mastered approach of the ‘low and slow’ style of beatdown hardcore. Causing a storm with the release across the UK, fans have been eagerly awaiting some new moshing material. Now Depravity have finally gifted us with another dose of punishing riffage.

A Poison Tree provides a powerful but somewhat short offering from the band. With only four tracks totalling 13 minutes, the listener is left with their appetite whetted but wanting more. Rather this than overstaying their welcome though, right? Opening track ‘Numb To Everything’ will surely get the crowd two-stepping, finishing with a beatdown that could easily have been lifted from Knocked Loose’s back catalogue. The title track continues in the same vein, but eschewing the more traditional tropes of the genre to create a sound similar to Whitechapel at their heaviest. With the final two tracks being previously released singles, one can’t help feeling somewhat short-changed with the announcement of a new EP. Yes, the singles themselves are fantastic, but listeners will surely prefer brand new material.

Production on the album is beyond mighty, each breakdown providing a punch in the face with every hit of the drum or low guitar string (rest assured Depravity are tuned to ‘drop infinity’). The vocals, being exclusively screamed, have perfect diction – a rare feat for the heavier side of hardcore. With song titles such as ‘Numb To Everything’ and ‘Last Nail’, the lyricism doesn’t exactly scream rainbows and sunshine. ‘Take me to the gallows and let me hang’ is but just one instance of the desire for death, but as with most bands at the heavier end of the spectrum, the lyrics are to be taken with a pinch of salt. ‘I wanna hold your hand’ wouldn’t work as a mosh call, would it?

While it still may be some time before we can hear these tracks live in all their glory, Depravity are tiding us over with a soundtrack for our bedroom moshing. One only complains that the soundtrack isn’t long enough (i.e. there hasn’t been enough time to smash up the bedside lamp yet).

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Track: A Poison Tree

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