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Leach - Lovely Light Of Life Award winner

Leach
Lovely Light Of Life
by Andrew Harvey at 12 June 2021, 9:25 AM

LEACH is a band from Sweden (Borås, Västra Götaland) are a 3 piece band that began as a mix of thrash and death metal with a focus on melodic gestures of these two styles. They started out in the early 2000’s, their back catalog includes a 4 track EP in 2008, 2 full albums which were BLINDFOLD in 2012 and HYMNS FOR THE HOLLOW in 2018 plus another EP in 2014.

They are now back with a bang with their brand new album LOVELY LIGHT OF LIFE, which starts off with “Prelude” featuring an amplified guitar effect. This takes us straight into “Serenade” with a ramping burst of guitar, bass and  drums. Vocals are very much of the thrash sound we would hear from bands in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Leach seems to have evolved through their first 2 albums with thrash and death metal. This a change from those albums, now we can hear more of what is defined as metalcore or deathcore. “Carry The Stigma” takes the pedal to the medal (quite literally), the speed of each component in this track is powerful and anonymous. The impact of bass heavy guitar, furthermore the drums are explosive with heavy hitting and filtered at first before thrashing within the mix Devastating vocals bringing the death metal influence to this track. The short intervals or pauses gives time for each section to really unleash the wall of sound.

“Trench Walk” with continuous cymbal hits, filtered guitar and gradually building a crescendo to the dark gloomy sounds we have heard before with guitar and bass guitar. Vocals remain persistent with the never-ending doom as the theme of this track and the lyrical content. The kick drum counts on like the metronome for the track and for all the other elements to follow on. “Scorched Earth Tactics” aims again for the bass heavy guitar sound we heard before together with hardcore vocals and drums bringing the death metal influence once more. The thick and dense volume of each instrument really brings the thrash effects into overdrive but not as excessive as before. “Aniara” follows on a similar wavelength, the cry and echo of the guitar screeching or reverberating throughout the audio spectrum, particularly in the instrumental section. “True North” is where the pace is quickening back to the deathcore elements as this is an opportunity for all instruments to show their true colours. All eyes and ears should be seeking for the melody with guitar that changes unlike the bass guitar which is the key of this track.

“Down For Counting” brings a different variation on drums at the intro with cymbal hits, before all instruments goes all out and guns blazing (metaphorically speaking, of course), pulling out all the stops. The space for guitar and bass guitar to become more prominent. The breakdown at the end is savage and sensational. “Vultures” is fairly different but the screams of the guitar in the intro does actually suggest the image of vultures flying about making noise like they’re ready to feed on something tasty to eat. The guitar acts a musical gesture here more and the drums incorporate more cymbal hits then before. Later on the guitar succumbed to the deathcore label the band brought to this track. “Gaslighting” is another bass heavy track before a crescendo led by the drums before guitar comes in to take the lead part in this track. The guitar solos are immense and very well thought out but they are overshadowed once more by the vocals that are so vicious and volatile.

“Sweet Blasphemy” starts off brilliantly with stylish drumming and filtered vocals before they are turned up to full volume. The overall mixture of thrash and deathcore elements is simply staggering. The double rhythm of drums at the end provides the lower frequencies we have enjoyed so much. The bonus track “D.O.D.” features a guest appearance by the Swedish singer, Björn “Speed” Strid who has collaborated alongside some other bands including I LEGION, TERROR 2000, COLDSEED and more commonly SOILWORK. The growl and bark of vocals comes out on top with the usual thrash/death metal guitar and drums, supported by the bass that creates a lot of depth for the track.

LEACH are no strangers to the Swedish metal scene especially with their experience and previous material stretching over the last 10 years or more, they have certainly made their contribution to the thrash/death metal genre in Sweden. No doubt, this album is an example of what different aspects of thrash, death or post punk music can produce.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prelude
2. Serenade (For The Broken Brave)
3. Carry The Stigma
4. Trench Walk
5. Scorched Earth Tactics
6. Aniara
7. True North
8. Down For Counting
9. Vultures
10. Gaslighting
11. Sweet Blasphemy
12. D.O.D. (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Markus Wikander - Vocals and Guitar
Anders Nordlander - Bass
Joachim Dahlström - Drums
Record Label: Brutal Records
     


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