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High Tension shoot straight on banging new LP, 'Purge'

This is High Tension's most focused, pointedly aggressive, and metal body of work.

Visceral and raw, Purge is High Tension at their heaviest. Some of their toughest instrumentation yet is coupled with a thematic exploration into the atrocities of the communist purge across Indonesia in 1965. The result is their most focused, pointedly aggressive, and metal body of work.

Having grown up in Indonesia, vocalist Karina Utomo’s passion is palpable from the get-go, with opener ‘Red White Shame’ a direct allusion to the topic at hand. This transitions cleanly into the slow-paced opening of ‘Ghost to Ghost’ which shoots up like a phoenix once the full band kicks in, all brought to life by Utomo’s scathing vocal delivery.

Following onto ‘Ular’ and then ‘Bite the Leash (Burn)’, High Tension hit us with a one-two-three punch of nonstop energy. The former carries Purge’s greatest riff, while the latter is arguably Purge’s greatest.

Screams are replaced with sombre tones on ‘Surrender’, an atmospheric odyssey giving us a bit of breathing space at the album’s midpoint. Then ‘Veil’ kicks in, and the second half of the album reminds us how much we loved the brutal pace and power of the first.

Come to educate yourself on an important period of Indonesian history. Stay for the modern heavy masterpiece.

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