Spider Bite Records’ artist Madecipha has been at this for a while now, but it doesn’t appear he’s stopping anytime soon. His latest and 5th studio release, “Arapnophobia,” brings what very well may be his best release to date. His unique style continues to grow and progress on this release, featuring one of my absolute favorite closing tracks.
Before I just give everything away, let’s go ahead and jump into the break down of the album itself.
I know I personally do this every time, but I can’t in good conscience offer an official rating for an intro. In comparison to a full-length track it seems unfitting to provide a full rating for an intro or skit. That being said, “Tangled in the Web,” is a good way to start things off and eases nicely into the album itself.
The opening track, “A Bridge on Fire,” sets a great tone for the album and gives you a fair example of what’s to come. The beat is solid and lyrically this is a very powerful and passionate track, but the delivery seems off at first. Oddly enough it seems as though Madecipha’s verses simply get better as the track moves along. The hook slows slightly, but hits upon the overall theme of the track itself and brings everything together nicely. Overall, this is definitely a decent start… not to give anything away, but it gets better. 3.5/5
“Dance on your Grave,” starts with a very ominous organ laced beat that provides the perfect backdrop for this more sinister track. It was an interesting and nice decision to make this switch to a more horrorcore inspired track quickly. It gives Madecipha a chance to showcase another side and with it being the second track in, it does this sooner rather than later. His delivery is on point throughout and it sounds great, but what impressed me the most was the hook. It really took me by surprise and will have you nodding along the moment it starts. 4/5
In the track, “Book of Death,” Madecipha brings along fellow rappers Freeze and Sean Strange. It seems like a nice platform to showcase how his style works alongside these other artists. Sean Strange opens up with a solid verse, Madecipha is on point once again and Freeze closes the whole thing out nicely. Though the chorus is rather simple, the DJ scratching elements and simplicity actually worked well. It seemed to put more focus on the individual artists themselves and brought together a great collaboration track. 4.5/5
“Unidentified,” is an interesting track, to say the least. At first the piano laden beat, which is later joined by horns as well, may seem jarring. Honestly though, as the track moves along Madecipha’s verses compliment the slightly odd mash up. In the end the beat sounds great for the track and he certainly owns and delivers on this one with his own unique style. 3.5/5
Though, “Shadow Doll,” has a hard-hitting, bass heavy beat there is a nice melodic vocal running underneath the entire track. Madecipha once again proves that he isn’t new to this and manages to weave his style nicely along this almost haunting beat. He also once again gives us a great hook that carries the vibe off the track well and this actually ends up being one of my favorite tracks on the entire album. 4.5/5
While “Forsaken Gods,” is obviously not the first track on this release to feature a fellow artist it is our first chance to hear Madecipha work alongside fellow UFO member and Mercy Counts Records artist, Xplizit. While Madecipha certainly starts things off well and the hooks is solid, I think Xplizt truly stood out on this track and her verse was a welcome addition to the album. Honestly, I think the best part is that both artists deliver well over another hauntingly melodic beat, but then close things out by toss the last few rhymes back and forth. It was a great way to end this one and shows how well these two particular artists work together. 4.5/5
“Cult Classic” has a nice groove to it and hints of elements of some smooth jazz, I’m not even joking. It sounds great and provides a good platform for Madecipha to show off his ability lyrically. His deliver is on point and the hook is crafted well to continue the flow of the overall track. This isn’t the best track here, but it is a decent showcase of Madecipha’s abilities. 3.5/5
“Known as Also,” is a skit that features Lil Mattress and as I’ve said before I can’t really give this a full rating. It’s nothing personal, this actually works well as a nice break in the pacing of the album, but it is a skit. So, while it is good it can’t be compared to a full length track’s rating system.
By the time, “Gourd of Ashes,” starts it’s clear that Madecipha has a grip on his own brand of horrorcore style. The beat does a great job here of allowing Madecipha’s lyricism take center stage and he does so in brutal fashion. The hook hits nice and certainly doesn’t slow the track down or take away from the overall theme. Everything seems to fit together well on this track. 4/5
“Ghost Calling,” is another great change of pace for the album and the beat certainly picks up on this one. This time around Madecipha has brought in Zak G, who opens things up for us. His verse is great and he certainly shows off his ability to keep a faster pace. Madecipha brings another vicious verse and does a perfect job keeping the same flow going for the track. It’s also nice to see that each of the artists gets another chance to showcase their particular skills before the track closes out. 4/5
“Unbreakable,” is a nice melodic track that brings MC Johnny Wae into the picture to kick this one off. He gives us an aggressive verse that kicks things off well and is a nice lead into the softer, and scratch heavy chorus. Madecipha once again delivers a solid verse and offers another unique beat to his repertoire. 3.5/5
The next track has a nice slow build until the bass finally kicks in and the things really begin to propel forward. Stepping away from the guest appearances, Madecipha takes control of this track. The hook on, “Too Far,” is simple, but stays on beat and keeps the tone going. Overall, the track feels like a progressive build up and even Madecipha’s verses also once again seem to follow this pattern. 3.5/5
While the bass on, “Lift the Fallen,” is certainly there, it takes a backseat on this track that seems to more prominently displays its’ harmonizing vocals and strings. This track’s sound was a nice choice to switch things up again. In my opinion this also may feature the best chorus on the entire album. Noel Levvis brings a catchy and yet, thoughtfully constructed verse to bridge us between verses. Madecipha is solid throughout and together with everything else creates an impressive track this late in the album. 4.5/5
There is definitely an old school video game quality to, “General Kael (Mad Martigan Mix),” which I’ll admit feels off at first but forms a nice backbone for the track. Madecipha and fellow UFO member Freeze both deliver verses at a quicker pace and each pairs nicely with one another. Both artists craft another example of how well they work together. I love the hook on this one too; it’s delivered on point and will keep your nodding along throughout the entire track. 4/5
“Bodied,” is another skit and I can’t rightful score a skit in comparison with a full track. That aside, this skit has a decent beat with guest star Grandma Jennie rapping. It’s not amazing, but I’ll admit it made me smile and her lyrics were pretty funny too.
The next track jumps right back into a violent horrorcore setting with a true DJ scratch heavy beat. This works well for the track and comes to the forefront more prominently in the hook itself. Pruven and Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox) both offer good rhymes that each have their moments. Madecipha places himself in between both guests and brings a unified feeling to, “Hunting for Witches.” 4/5
“Sketch Pad,” starts things off by giving us a wonderfully created beat that intertwines with a soulful guitar tune. The hook is decent and everyone delivers on his or her parts, but the biggest thing taken away from this track is how perfectly they nailed that (sorry to say it again) soulful feeling throughout the entire thing. 4/5
Madecipha wastes no time kicking, “A Live No More,” off in vicious fashion. The sampled and scratched hook is subtle enough to allow Madecipha to shine. Honestly, it seemed that the simplicity of this entire track was a welcomed change of pace that worked really well. Madecipha really puts his skills on display on this one and it’s really hard to find a fault on this one. 4.5/5
“The Last of the Roaches,” also features a scratch heavy hook and it seems to work good here as well. Taking things to the dark side, Madecipha offers a tale of consuming flesh. It is gory, but somehow manages to convey a great lyrical journey. 4/5
The closing track is a nice send off for the album and “Not Even the King,” gives us one of the best beats on the album. Madecipha grabs the reigns on the hook and does an amazing job of unifying the track both lyrically and rhythmically. This track also features some of the best rhymes we’ve heard. Honestly, this is one of the best closing tracks I’ve heard in quite a while. Madecipha brings everything together on a powerful beat and creates a very passionate track. It just leaves you wanting more, wanting what’s coming next. 4.75/5
When everything is said and done, “Arapnophobia,” is very solid release from an artist who clearly understands his craft, but continues to evolve. If you’ve never heard of Madecipha before, this is the perfect jumping on point, as you will find this is truly his best material yet. The production on this album is great, which also helps bring a nice clean sound to the entire project. At only $10 it’s hard to pass this one up and if you’re lucky you can meet the man himself along with the rest of the UFO crew out at this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos. I can’t get over how well the album closed out with, “Not Even the King,” and it just keeps me intrigued and excited at what’s next. 4/5
Be sure to check out our Underground Spotlight interview with Madecipha as well and find out more about the man himself. You can also now see the latest video for UFO’s single, “Welcome Home,” from their new album that’s releasing at the Gathering of the Juggalos.
- Not Even the King
- Forsaken Gods
- Book of Death