Leeched – “You Took the Sun When You Left” Album Review

Grab your diazepam; if you suffer from anxiety, it’s about to go off the deep end.

 

leeched

Hailing from Manchester, England, this three-piece Hardcore outfit sound like the noise they are making could never possibly be from just three people. Their first EP, “Nothing Will Grow From The Rotten Ground” gained them some critical success and was an outstanding collection of brutal songs.  With this offering, released on Prosthetic Records, they have continued to build a solid discography of music to smash your bedroom up to.

A Great year for music

2018 has seen some pretty fantastic metal albums come to light. This album is no exception.

” You Took the Sun When You Left” is a dark viscous album with a huge raw sound. It is annihilating and doesn’t ever let up. Very reminiscent of bands like Nails, but with more ambience and atmosphere.

The wall of sound Leeched create cascades over you like a pummelling tidal wave, and it’s going to take everything with it.

Thundering, but extremely tight and calculated drums set the pace, and Tom Hansell manages to do it well. He absolutely smashes his kit to pieces with precise violent execution. They make your ears feel bruised and battered, and that’s before he even utilises double bass at times to rapidly up the intensity and vigour. Add Laurie Morbey’s harrowing and savage vocals to the mix, and it starts to turn into an entirely different animal. His animosity filled growls are filled with despair and a blackened hatred. I love his vocal work on this album.

For a Hardcore album, I was surprised by how dynamic it can be at times. Production is excellent. Morbey’s bass is also prominent, never hidden too much in the mix and the thundering amount of fuzz it provides adds a certain amount of apprehension to the music and at times, like a sledgehammer to the face.

The Leathermouth “XO” album came to mind when I first heard this album. Possibly because I was listening to it earlier, but it has a polish and production very similar.

Leeched 1

Each member of Leeched sounds like they have been playing together for years, always aware of the other two guys and what they are capable of as musicians. The songwriting on this album gives a vibe like they pushed each other to the extreme in the studio, and they should be proud of that.

Typically, the metal I listen to tends to be more progressive, I love complexities in my music, and I’m incredibly meticulous when it comes to Hardcore music I like.

Surprisingly at times, this band manages to pull things off in quite a mathematical way, while remaining as angry and hate-filled as you can get. Time signatures change without warning, and in doing so dramatically alter the track from one moment to the next.

Intricate drum sections and outstanding guitar work from Judd Langley add devastating tenacity while including superb harmonics, squeals, and Ferocity in every single track. His guitar tone sounds amazingly dread-filled and dirty. Putrid, and full of desolation and bleakness. His guitar style also has an elaborate way of adding depth and uneasiness to the music, while being intricate to what each song requires.

Dynamics are a great thing

Ambience is also surprisingly found all over this album, which adds a certain amount of dread and unsteadiness, almost like a person with a mental illness who stops mid-sentence as if to listen for something unheard.

Dramatic sudden stops also litter the album, and it always leaves you waiting for the next sonic explosion when all the instruments come into alignment like a looming solar eclipse.

It makes things continually engaging and exciting and is an excellent addition to the songwriting of the band.The album punches you in the face right off the bat and doesn’t stop until it has left you a bloody, lifeless mess decimated on the floor.

The track “Guilt,” one of the singles for this album, is a powerhouse. It is also one of my favourites. It starts up with a solid guitar attack before heavy hitting precise and resounding drums start thundering in. It adds a certain sense of doom to the track like something is rumbling forward, echoing, and annihilating everything underfoot. Slight gaps in the music allow a surprise use of snare and make this track distinct. The vocal work from Morbey is outstanding. Monstrous and rage filled with gritty desperation.

“Cripple the herd” is another monstrous titan and the first track to start things off. And boy, it does that straight away. Doom filled guitar riffs rip through as the drums tightly power behind, and some excellent use of pick squealing is utilised. It is a vicious and unstoppable track which starts the album in the right direction.

“Rope” sounds like a grim devastating plea, like someone at the gallows with a noose around their neck waiting for the trap to open. It is filled with an intense urgency, full of savage and barbarous vocals and even though it is only a short track, it is definitely one of the best. It also features some of the best drumming on this album, full of subtle tempo changes and sophisticated fills. This album is overwhelming and chaotic. Full of tenacious and powerful energy, and perfect to get you up and moving. Or in the mood to smash something or someone to bits.

Leeched do things which make them unique in many ways, especially their use of atmosphere and ambience and allowing space when the music requires it, and it’s something that makes “You Took the Sun When You Left” something rather special.

The future of this band will be deservedly positive, and this album needs to be heard.

9/10

Written by Darrell Smith

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