Cult Leader "Lightless Walk"

With Lightless Walk Cult Leader cement themselves as true hardcore heavyweights. The impact that the album makes from start to finish is so polished and intense that it's hard not to see the obvious evolution of a group that showed reasonable promise at their infancy, actually capitalize on their potential to release a true gem of an album.
     Album opener "Great I Am" presents immediate progression in production. Nothing For Us Here showed a raw, ripped approach, and instead we find heavy compression and subtlety right from the beginning. Track after track come sailing with intensity and lingerer "A Good Life" is complemented by the short burst "Walking Wasteland" which is also reinforced by monolith "Hate Offering" one track later.
     It's worthy to note that the first half of the album starts off much more intense than the majority of the stoner-inclined second half. "Suffer Louder" and "Broken Blades" are the pinnacle points of aggression on the album, and as things develop, Cult Leader start to expand their scope a little wider than just pummeling the listener over the head with ferocity.
     The origins of Gaza still make themselves prevalent with "How Deep It Runs" bringing to mind the subtle sludge that made the band so epic during their short, but impactful career. With this track amongst another it's not often that the band dwells in doom territory, making efforts to get right back to business and balance the album with some deep cuts and the other short and punctual. 
     Album closer and title track shows a more sensual side to the album, but by this point, there's been so much good in such a short time and so much damage already done, that there's really not much else that's necessary to make the album have a strong finish. In the end, it's really a new, more concrete approach that's captured here. 
      Cult Leader have separated themselves from their confusing, scatter brained metal they displayed on their first few spurts in their catalogue. With Lightless Walk we have an album that complements their existing discography, but can also stand on its own if the group decides to distance themselves from this focused, one dimensional ripping machine they've honed their skills to present here. 

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