Hailing from mid-west USA, hardcore 5 piece Purgatory have been slowly but surely carving out a path for themselves. Their 2015 EP Gospel Of War was extremely well received within the hardcore community, as was their 2016 single Beg For Life: Pray For Death, providing them with the opportunity to share stages with some notable names such as Knocked Loose, Twitching Tongues and hardcore giants Terror. 2018 sees them release their first full length record Cold Side Of Reality. 8 violent and anger fuelled tracks with one purpose: keep the freight train moving.
The record opens with some soft yet dark sounding guitar tones on the title track, but it doesn’t stay soft for long. It lulls you into a false sense of calm, which is completely destroyed when the main chugs burst into the fray. Everything that happens from here on out is nothing short of carnage. Violence As My Vice is full of meaty guitars and angry vocals from the get go as well as a couple of slowed down breaks that are sure to snap a few necks. Sincerely Yours is a fast paced metal-tinged offering, treading on both the thrashy and heavy sides of the line with both frantic drums and weighty guitar sections. Down For Mine (D4M) starts with a breakdown that reminded me of Pantera, and continues to bring the punishment with some stomping verses and crushing chorus sections. Even the album closer Sanctum of Misery is a beast, creating a doomy and angry atmosphere with its palm muted verses and surprise breakdowns littered throughout. You get to the end of the record feeling like you haven’t been given enough, which is probably my only real criticism. It clocks in at 22 minutes long, which feels more like a mini-album than a full length. But this is hardcore, I suppose, and it isn’t really about how long the songs are. It’s about the anger, the pain and the pummelling riffs. Purgatory bring all of that to the table with this record, and they do it really well.
This record is a wrecking ball. It begins to pick up momentum as soon as the first note blasts through the speakers and doesn’t stop swinging until the closing song comes to an abrupt halt, leaving nothing but destruction in its path. It’s angry, it’s venomous and it’s most certainly pissed off. But more importantly, it’s as heavy as sin. The guitar tone is thick and meaty, as is the bass, and every single drum hit sounds like a gunshot. The vocals are solid throughout too, emphasising the lyrical content with a snarling powerful delivery. If you’re into bands like Hatebreed and Terror, you will without doubt enjoy this record. Even if you aren’t a fan of those bands but love a good old slice of heavy hardcore, this will wet your appetite. It may not be the longest record, but it is definitely filling. Welcome to Purgatory.