Back in 2012 a relatively unknown band from Salt Lake City called Gaza released an album, which for my money is one of the best extreme metal albums of the past ten to fifteen years. The album entitled “No Absolutes In Human Suffering” was equal parts punishing, vicious and savage, going from riffs that feel like you’ve been flattened by a colossus to riffs so razor sharp and ferocious like having your face removed by a rapid wolverine.
After a UK tour with hardcore legends Converge the band parted ways with vocalist Jon Parkin and retired the band. The former members reconvened to form a new band with bass player Anthony Lucero taking over on vocals and Sam Richards replacing him as bass player. Now, with the release of their debut album “Nothing For Us Here” released on Deathwish Inc. Cult Leader seemed to have taken no time in re-establishing themselves as the kings of punishment.
Whilst not having quite the vocal power and grit of Parkin‘s vocals, Lucero certainly have the pipes to carry the ferocity of the music. Where as Parkin sounded like he was going to bludgeon you to death with his vocals, Lucero sounds as if he would only put you into a coma. It still does the job and after the full 17 minutes you certainly feel like you’ve been put through the ringer.
Musically, it’s still got all the ferocity and violence that you got on the last Gaza album. If anything the album has developed an absolutely crushing sense of groove. Track three on the album ‘Mongrel’ has a disgustingly heavy opening groove as does the first track put out from the album ‘Skin Crawler’