With You Took the Sun When You Left, Leeched position themselves to become a formidable new force within modern hardcore.
Following hot on the heels of 2017’s Nothing Will Grow from the Rotten Ground EP, You Took the Sun When You Left sees the Manchester trio picking up where they left off and exploring darker corners of the chaotic hardcore abyss they first traveled into. Painting in various shades of hardcore, grindcore, and extreme metal as a whole, You Took the Sun When You Left is a bleak and furious debut whose vitriol can be felt in every noise-laden note.
Armed with caustic, buzzsaw guitar tones, pummeling drumming, and rage-fueled vocals, this 34-minute barrage of sound hits where it hurts. The songs cycle between groove heavy, sludgy hardcore beatdowns (“By the Factories”) and more erratic, noisy riff assaults (“Cripple the Herd”) throughout, occasionally combining the two approaches within the same song. But it doesn’t end there. Disemboweling grindcore riffage can be heard in tracks like “The Stone and the Steel”, while dissonant, metalcore-esque breakdowns are proudly displayed in all of their off-kilter glory in tunes like “A Mouth Full of Dirt”. Elements of cold, mechanized industrial metal à la early Godflesh can be found in the song “Guilt”, and the band toys with dark ambient soundscapes in “Born in Sand”, as well as other places scattered throughout the record.
But while the record is quite the grim heavy hitter, it is not without its shortcomings. There are a few songs on the album that hit minor missteps with a couple of choppy transitions. An example can be found in the album’s third track, “The Stone and the Steel”. The track is heavy and menacing, no doubt, but its lack of fluid transitions between some of its riffs makes it seem like it was stitched together. There are also moments where the band inject abrupt industrial or atmospheric moments to bridge sections within songs, which ultimately disrupt the flow of some songs (see “A Mouth Full of Dirt”, “Raised by Lead”).
Shortcomings aside, Leeched‘s debut is a solid one and definitely captures the best parts of hardcore’s ugly side. You Took the Sun When You Left aims to crush and it most certainly succeeds.
Release Date: August 24, 2018
Label: Prosthetic Records
Favorite Tracks: “Cripple the Herd”, “Rope”, “By the Factories” and “Hollow-Point Weddings”
For Fans Of: Cult Leader, Wolf King, Nails, Sectioned and Employed to Serve