Described by the band as years in the making, Purify bares all the intensities, angst, and determination which you can assume accompanied its journey. The debut album of UK metallers Borders, it is a cauldron of emotion, passion, and sonic dissonance delivered with an energy and prowess which demands and indeed commands eager attention.
Lincoln hailing, Borders has been busy luring keen praise and support since their pretty much first days but especially since the release in 2017 of their second EP, Diagnosed. In many ways it was a potent teaser to Purify though the album swiftly reveals it is a massive leap in craft, imagination, and adventure whilst building on the striking groundwork of its predecessor. Live the band is renowned for its dynamic and power soaked presence, one definitely captured within the imposing, often infectiously corrosive, and always compelling tempest of Purify.
The album is a ravening cyclone of varied metal bred styles and textures, a fusion as hostile and brutal as it is skilled and unapologetically captivating. Led by the magnetically bold and versatile tones of Jordan Olifent, the ten tracks making up Purify entice as they devour, arouse as they punish. Opener 731 quickly shares the virulent nature and ferocious intent of the band’s sound, the dexterity in its making as open as the song sidles up to ears from a distance, quickly teasing and enticing with a web of lures from guitarist Gavin Burton. Soon it is dominantly striding forth, the rhythms of bassist Tom Britton and drummer Daniel Hodson inciting and biting as Olifent’s raw throated squalls infest ears and song alike. Continuing to ebb and flow in its aggression whilst concentrating its lyrical observation and emotive intensity across an ever twisting landscape, the song is a powerful start and draw into the heart of the album.
It is quickly eclipsed though by the following Wake Up which from its first breath is seducing and ravaging the senses; djent and death nurtured enterprise colluding with sonic and melodic taunts as vocals again bring a great fusion of attacks to the feral trespass. No prisoners are taken in word and sound with every syllable and note a virulent incitement before Damage Everything jabs and swings at the listener with its own individually contagiousness enmity. It too outshone the song before for personal appetites, an Anti-Clone-esque essence adding to its voracious character and grippingly unpredictable tempest.
The even darker and heavier climate of Bad Blood follows, melodic toxicity uniting with physical ferocity as easily as harmonic backing aligns with Olifent’s flesh scarring causticity. At times there is a portentous calm to the atmosphere of the track, one bringing greater discontent to the breath of the track before its instinctive animosity is embraced and twisted into another major highlight of Purify in the rousing crossover/ extreme discord of War. The track epitomises everything potent in the Borders sound, melodic and bloodthirsty enterprise fused in another savagely inspiring provocation.
As Demon’s Reach, with its equally barbarous and adventurous infestation of imagination and craft, and the hardcore lined Nothing To Lose consume and ignite attention and appetite, Purify only tightened its grip and fascination with next up A World Apart adding yet another creatively fierce and esurient peak to its impressive landscape.
Purify is definitely as album which caught and hooked our ears from the off but provides so much more pleasure and revelation with further attention, each play unveiling another layer and texture to the character and individuality of tracks as proven by the predator that is Faded. With every listen fresh nuances are revealed to its surface blood thirst, melodic and sonic rapacity woven with increasing craft and imagination highlighted by the play with its briefness accentuating its feral magnificence.
Closed up by the boisterously crawling exploits of Walking Dead, a prowling unrelenting devourment of the senses and the political chaos of today, Purify just consumed the spot. The lengthy time of its making has no doubt brought many frustrations to the band but used as further fuel to the rage against the toxic state of the world which has inspired the heart, imagination and skill within one mighty beast of an album.
Purify is out now via Long Branch Records and available @ https://borders.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 21/05/2019
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