Monday, April 23, 2012

The Love Below-Every Tongue Shall Caress

A389 Records

The Love Below is a fairly new California-based act made up of members of Carry The Casket, The Mistake and Mother Speed. After hearing The Love Below's (TLB for short) top-notch 2009 demo A389 Records approached the band with a contract in hand. After issuing their well-received debut EP, "Reproductive Rights" the band did a split with fellow A389 label mates Homewrecker. Now, on we move to 2012's full-length, "Every Tongue Shall Caress" where TLB offer up 10 new tracks (three tracks are from the split supposedly) with a run time just under twenty-four minutes. With their new album TLB adheres closely to the framework set by their earlier material so fans of the group should thoroughly enjoy every minute of "Every Tongue Shall Caress". Taking a look at the number of cuts (13) verses run time (under 24 minutes) should provide you with a small hint of what TLB has to offer. If that does not do it for you then check out some of the album's song titles like "Nazi Uniform", "Rotten Fruit From A Shitty Tree" (the album's best cut really) and "Social Fuck Disease". Still left out in the dark? Well, for starters TLB belong in punk/hardcore's extended family. More specifically they have found a home in one of the many side branches. Now while they share the same kind of mindset that has made many a punk and hardcore band great they offer something much more potent. TLB start with some nasty and filthy hardcore before taking a Brillo pad to the the sound's surface. The band's take on truly abrasive punk/hardcore would be enough if you were to just stop right there. TLB up the stakes though by adopting some of the most vile post-Black Sabbath's doom/sludge metal this side of Saint Vitus. That in a nutshell is TLB in all of it's brutal glory. Tony Iommi-styled guitar leads mix with sludge and gritty, raw and honest street-level punk/hardcore. Between these layers of abrasive sludge tinged punk/hardcore (that has drawn comparisons to bands like Trash Talk) you'll also find an unhinged and volatile lead vocalist who half sings/half screams out a message of pain and desperation. This is certainly politically charged mayhem at it's very core and one can't help but feel the raw pain than runs through the heart of TLB. That said if the band's honest look at life sounds too real for some then forget the message of "Every Tongue Shall Caress" and instead just focus on TLB's brand of hardcore with it's metallic undercoat. That alone should be enough to convert the unbelievers as this is some of the best constructed hardcore metal I've heard this year. If hardcore metal or doom/sludge is something you fancy then do yourself a solid and check out TLB.

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