We have entered an age in heavy music where it is very hard for any act to stand out from the crowd. Everyone sounds like someone else. The general consensus among metal acts right now is that being crazy technical is how you sound brutal. While I do appreciate virtuosity, this whole “lets play as fast and erratic as possible” thing is starting to get a little old for me. What defines great heavy music is being able to get the listener to just stop and say “holy fuck”. That moment where time just stops and you are only focused in on how blissfully filthy the song is. Deathcore newcomers Purge seem to be well versed in this concept. Coming out of Woodland Hills, CA; these guys are able to create that “holy fuck” moment in almost all of their songs. Armed with downtempo breakdowns, slams, blast beats, and viciousness, these guys have the potential to be one of the heaviest hitting bands in the deathcore scene. There first EP “In Expurgate” dropped on November 17th, 2014.
The EP kicks off with “Commence” with the alarms (sampled from the movie “The Purge”) sounding, then goes into some downtempo breakdowns utilizing some dissonant chords. It almost sounds like an evil march to celebrate the beginning of the chaos. We then go into the title track “Expurgate”, which consists of a diabolically delicious groove throughout. It’s a gruesome song that captures the essence of fury and hatred, while almost having a djenty feel to it. This song honestly makes me want to smash the shit out of everything when I listen to it. The next song, “Divine Putrification” has more of a death metal vibe to it. It sounds like a combination of I Declare War and The Black Dahlia Murder’s newer material. The song concludes with an eerie piano chord progression that feels straight out of a horror movie. Up next is “No Salvation”, my personal favorite. The triplet breakdown section that starts around the :55 second mark literally makes me go full savage mode. This track brings out my inner primal instincts and leaves me with this perennial urge to destroy all that is in my path. If someone who had never heard deathcore asked me to show them the most gruesome song to represent the genre, this song would definitely be in the running. The next track “Servant” has the best screaming performance from vocalist Andrew España. His lows are so guttural and brutal throughout the entire track, but are definitely at its best at the :15 and :45 second mark. It couples well with some of the heaven piercing highs that are heard in the track. I felt as though the ending to the song had a sort of doom vibe to it, but maybe that was just me. The last song “Human Filth” features Jordan Legore from beatdown/horrorcore specialists xKINGx. This is my least favorite track on the EP. The vocals were a little too messy and the instrumentation was pretty basic beatdown music. It seemed like it was thrown together hastily without much inspiration or thought put into it.
Obviously if you’re not into slower tempo deathcore than this band isn’t going to be for you. But if you’re looking for something different than what’s prominent in the metal scene right now (technical djent metalcore for days) I highly recommend checking out Purge. By no means is the EP mind blowing, but their brand of disgusting, slamming beatdowncore could be the cure to your insatiable appetite for increasingly heavier music.