Omaha, Nebraska’s Purgatory closed 2015 with this six song serving of bruised knuckles and swollen faces. An uncompromisingly heavy EP, Gospel of War is their first proper release since 2013’s Rabid Visions, in addition to being their first new material since “No Faith” on The Underdogs compilation on Dog Years Records.
The aforementioned track reappears on Gospel and like the EP as a whole boy is it a doozy. Each track emanates with forlorn rage as the guitar and bass shudder with repressed violence and the drums thrum like swelling blood in an overworked vein. The bloodletting vocals spit like sharpened gravel caught under a lawn mower; unavoidable and meteoric. All ingredients coalesce into a blistering package of some of the best hardcore 2015 had to offer.
The vitriol fueling this metallic hardcore courses throughout the collection’s twelve minutes like a lava vein consistently feeding a volcano. Coming out from under a veil of urban ambiance made of traffic and dog barks, Purgatory’s “Intro” explodes like a landmine of flooring right hooks. Unquenchable in their fury, tracks like “No Faith,” “Death Toll” and the title track are akin to the stuff pits were founded on. If pitting is indeed your workout, then the entirety of Gospel is your perfect Richard Simmons routine, sans happy thoughts. Like the mountains of skulls that emboss the EP’s cover (courtesy of The Banner’s Joey Southside), Purgatory mean to make heads roll.
Guard your necks, because they’ve already started collecting.
Gospel of War is out now on Escapist Records.