Album of the Day: Cult Leader – Lightless Walk

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Label: Deathwish Inc

Plenty of words have been written about how Cult Leader came to be, arising from the ashes of Gaza – and I don’t plan on writing any more about them here. The past is over, and Cult Leader is the now. Well, sort of. It has been roughly two and a half years since the release of Lightless Walk, and I’m holding out for more new music from the metallic, technical hardcore titans amongst their constant touring. The album was an absolute blast, building on the promise of their Useless Animal and Nothing For Us Here EPs, full of righteous fury and music that is as exhilarating as it is punishing.

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Album of the Day: Doomriders – Grand Blood

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Label: Deathwish Inc

It seems like an age ago that Doomriders released Grand Blood – and it is. It’s been over four years since we last had a new album from the riff-heavy hardcore band, and I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that the wait won’t go on much longer. Though in the meantime, Grand Blood (along with previous albums Black Thunder and Darkness Come Alive) have more than enough quality to keep me satisfied.

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Planes Mistaken For Stars – Prey

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Label: Deathwish Inc

There’s few bands more important to me than Planes Mistaken For Stars (PMFS), and it was a sad day for me when they played their final (at the time) show in 2008. Though the band started playing live again in 2010, I never truly expected a new album to ever materialize; so, the release of Prey is welcome in that it represents the return of one of my favourite bands. But it’s also a release that should appeal to more than just fans of old, as this is a wonderfully passionate piece of post-hardcore, full of grit and melody, with the kind of definite roughness to the edges that speaks of bad decisions and good times. There’s no one who sounds quite like PMFS, and that’s as true on Prey as it ever was. It’s one of the most unexpected releases of the year, but also one of my favourite. My hopes for the album were high, and they have more than been met.

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Five of the Best – Deathwish Inc Hidden Gems

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There’s surely no disputing that Deathwish Inc. are one of the most important labels in underground music. Since their inception in 2000, the label has had an excellent run of releases, consistent in quality and varied in style, to the point that they’re now one of the defining labels of modern hardcore. There’s more than a few game-changers and modern classics to be found among the label’s back-catalogue (which can be explored at your leisure via their excellent Bandcamp page), but there’s also some releases that, for whatever reason, never quite got the recognition or attention they deserved – or maybe they did, and they’re simply worth revisiting. Here’s my pick of five such hidden gems.

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Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death

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Label: Deathwish Inc

Album stream: Via Pitchfork Advance

Since their formation in 2009, Young And In The Way (YAITW) have been creating some of the most caustic, overwhelming, and downright dangerous music to have emerged in recent years. A leading example of the growing blackened-crust sub-genre, fusing punk rock aggression with the cold nihilism of black metal, the pairing of YAITW with Deathwish Inc, one of today’s most important underground labels, seems a natural fit. Following on from a pair of split releases last year comes When Life Comes To Death, their fourth full-length in an already excellent discography. The band have thus far displayed an excellent ability to tap in to the darker side of the human mind, the part that is filled with hate and anger, and there’s an inevitable worry that such levels of darkness could not be maintained. Thankfully for the listener, When Life Becomes Death does not disappoint in the slightest, perhaps being the most intense, furious record the band has produced yet. More than that, and as with all involved in the AC//13 collective, they continue to possess that special something that makes them seem like much more than a band, as if this is not simply music to listen to, but something far darker and more important; as if each record is an invitation to embrace the darkness within and to revel and find some sort of illumination in the negativity that results.

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