With High Tension’s third full-length ‘Purge’, the quartet have provided absolute affirmation why their name rhymes with “My Intention” – collectively these ten tracks are the illustration of where the band always intended to be. Lyrically, musically and even in distinction, this four-piece have crafted their monument; honestly this is charismatic chaos and ferocious finesse in the world of metallic hardcore – remembering to avoid categorising the art HT creates.
The metallic mathcore intricacy then an explosion of an opener “Red White Shame” demands more than attention from the listener, it is the metaphoric earthquake High Tension are inflicting on the world; commanding to be heard. Especially vocalist Karina Utomo’s venomous screech and growl, referencing her passionate revulsion toward the anti-communist purge in Indonesia in 1965 and 1966; this track would definitely have Jacob Bannon and Tre McCarthy of Deathwish Inc. wanting to know and hear more.
“Ghost To Ghost” diversifies the formula even further, a post-metallic hardcore number with a latter-day Poison The Well inclination around the ‘Versions’ era for that genre-redefining outfit. “Bite The Leash (Burn)” exemplifies this inspiration but with more of a volatile delivery.
“Ular” showcases a near crossover thrash element amongst Ms Utomo’s fierce beyond human shriek and leaves the observer devastated in the best way possible.
“Surrender” is an intermission of sorts, although it is arguably the most fascinating track the quartet have written. A cinematic post-punk journey with elements of gothic queen Chelsea Wolfe and atmospheric alternative trio Daughter, the five-minute odyssey is blissfully hypnotic.
“Veil” is the musical uppercut bringing observers back to reality, a Trap Them persuaded tune with an exquisite progressive black metal seasoning. “The Stench” and “The Legacy” are simply magnificent mathcore lightning strikes that Converge would be thrilled and appreciative of; then “Purge” features a nod of respect in sound to the forever-missed masterminds Botch.
To close “Rise” is the first High Tension track to include guitarist Mike Deslandes on both melodic and growled vocals alongside Karina’s piercing shriek. Adding an oddly infectious rock’n’roll feel to the art Black Breath creates, it is truly a unique “pièce de résistance” to finish off the LP.
There are not many outfits that perform this scope of music to a platform of memorable stature, many of whom were mentioned throughout this review. What High Tension have constructed, refined and executed with ‘Purge’ is exactly the calibre of what the aforementioned leaders continue to uphold. High Tension have managed to “merge” these persuasions flawlessly and this writer, plus the band “urge” the world to listen.
HIGH TENSION TOURING AUS JUNE/JULY
PURGE TOUR DATES
15 JUNE – DARK MOFO, TASMANIA
22 JUNE – AMPLIFIER BAR, PERTH
23 JUNE – DAY OF CLARITY, ADELAIDE
29 JUNE – LANSDOWNE, SYDNEY
30 JUNE – CROWBAR, BRISBANE
7 JULY – THE TOTE, MELBOURNE
Tickets for the Purge Tour are on sale now at hightension.com.au