Hardcore, Metal, Punk

Purgatory – Lawless to Grave (Review)

Band: Purgatory
Album: Lawless To Grave
Genre: Metallic Hardcore
Country: USA
Release Date: 9th of April, 2021
Released via Unbeaten Records
Cover Artwork © Unbeaten Records

The new album Lawless to Grave of the American Hardcore band Purgatory has been officially released recently. Often in the past, the sound of the band was called “street metal”, which is also more than true for their new record. What the group from Indiana serves us here sounds extremely dangerous and offers probably the best output that has been presented by them since the existence of Purgatory. Metallic Hardcore the heavy way as it needs to be these days, packed with many rough edges, distinctive instrumental parts and consistently uncomfortable. So you should definitely be ready to get your daily dose of anger while listening to these eleven chain rattling punches!

It didn’t take me much time to enjoy what Purgatory spit at us here with Lawless to Grave, which is partly due to the sample from “Cobra” that introduces this album and couldn’t fit better with the sound that follows. The listener is picked up with songs somewhere between stomping midtempo parts, hard breaks and sinister downtempo that push each other to maximum brutality, giving off a dangerous street vibe but also causing a stir with musical elements.

The drumming, for example, delivers a merciless performance and features a strong, sometimes blasting Death Metal bass drum as well as great cymbal playing that gives the sound a proper groove and also brings out occasional 2-step parts without diminishing the overall aggressiveness. But not only the drums push forward relentlessly on this release. It gets support from dull vocals, which is brought into focus by the instruments in some places and can score with gangshouts in addition to its nasty barking, thus providing a few more dangerous-sounding aspects. In general, the vocals just sound extremely pissed off and distorted with rage and harmonize perfectly with the mix of distinctive tunes you know by Hatebreed or also Merauder, which already suggested a comparison with the drumming. Furthermore, in the course of the record you get to deal with a powerful bass, which can hum itself into the memory with one or another solo part and at the same time puts a dirty touch over the album, which ensures that it does not sound too smoothly produced and the tempo changes are seamlessly linked.

What I like most about Lawless to Grave, however, is definitely the riffing, which is composed of deep, shredding guitar playing, different noises like various feedbacks and metallic, siren-like chords. The guitar is played brutally, so that the sound of the instruments attacking seems like subdued thrusting at a stabbing. Occasional melodies, in which Purgatory have probably oriented themselves to the initial Machine Head era, have also been incorporated and underpin the musical versatility once again.

Besides, the band delivers thoughtful and catchy songwriting on Lawless to Grave to the day that contributes to the fact that the songs individually, but also as a whole album in one piece seems very long-lived and always reveals passages that can carry away and have not been noticed before. In addition, they use different elements such as speech or song samples, which not only provide musical variety, but also give the dangerous attitude of the record a bit more authenticity. The influences seem well coordinated, do not sound senselessly overloaded, and fit almost perfectly with the rest of the instrumental arrangement and bring more depth to the sound.

In cooperation with the American label Unbeaten Records, Purgatory have also released their album in various physical editions. Since April 9th you are able to get Lawless to Grave in different vinyl versions and on CD format. It remains to be seen whether and if so at which European distro you can pick up the record in the future. One thing is for sure, this intense and violent release should not be missed in any collection of Metallic Hardcore fans due to it’s fantastic quality.

Lawless to Grave convinces from front to back and should surely satisfy almost every fan of aggressive street Hardcore. Tight songwriting, catchy instrumentals, biting vocals and gritty samples build up an atmosphere that sounds like good old 90’s east coast Hardcore but also adds enough more current Metal influences to give the sound a certain individuality. Purgatory is an excellent choice to show your teeth to the world or to get a good sparring session. So those of you who have already devoured the new God’s Hate long player this year will also find pure joy in Lawless to Grave, promised!

Favourite Tracks:
“Grave Of Sorrow”
“Lawless to Grave”

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