There are few things more terrifying than a purge, an authoritarian bloodshed that whitewashes victims from the pages of history for the sake of ideology.
High Tension have used the Indonesian Communist purges of the 1960s as the fuel for their anger on their new full length album. Against the backdrop of this dispicable and mostly hidden chapter of history the Melbourne four piece have created one of the most intense slabs of music to hit human ears this year.
Opener ‘Red and White Shame’ builds the tension – no pun intended – as vocalist Karina Utomo begins to paint the picture of the enormity of the torture and genocide that swept our northern neighbour with the building grind of Matt Deslandes’ guitar. ‘Ghost to Ghost’ then explodes in a burst of extreme metal chaos, an overdriven engine of rage that is overtaken only by the very next track, each new song aiming for a pinnacle of intensity. ‘Ular’ is devastating hardcore, ‘Veil’ writhes under ferocious black metal hammering. Throughout, Utomo is a siren of rage, a ferocious voice of protest against the perpetrators and the complacent who enabled them; the sweet ‘Surrender’ by contrast offers a glimmer of hope for restitution before chaos descends once again. Purge is a devastating and uncomfortable listen, one that gets ever more intense as it moves forward, even as the final track ‘Rise’ sounds almost hopeful with the twin vocals of Utomo and Deslandes joining together over the monstrous riffs.
Purge is ferocious, an aptly-named statement of pure rage and anger intensity, catharsis and hope. It’s a journey into a dark past, document of a murky and brutal chapter of history that needs to be exposed.
- Red White Shame
- Ghost to Ghost
- Bite the Leash (Burn)
- The Stench
- The Legacy