Album review: Cruelty – There Is No God Where I Am
Cruelty’s trajectory as a band has been overridden somewhat by a global pandemic. From 2017 to 2020 they released a demo, two EPs, and toured alongside the likes of Renounced and Employed To Serve, quickly making a name for themselves as one of the UK’s most versatile hardcore bands. When the world suddenly ground to a halt, it would have been easy for them to fade away into obscurity. Instead, they used it as an opportunity to get to work on their debut full-length and crack open a book (namely Aleister Crowley’s The Book of Law, from which this opus takes its title).
While the overriding theme of There is No God Where I Am is dark and brooding, the musical elements are a veritable grab bag of chugging grooves, metalcore style breakdowns, hardcore punk and the occasional old-school death metal squealing guitar. From start to finish, it’s chaotic and frenzied, but never fully loses control. It’s clear that Cruelty are pooling from a plentiful source of influences and aren’t afraid to experiment with shoe-horning as many of these as possible into each track. Only a truly seasoned musician is capable of doing this without it sounding like an absolute mess. At its core this album’s unpredictability is what makes it such an enjoyable listen.
Cruelty are a refreshing new take on a genre that’s already had its blueprints firmly put in place by the likes of Integrity and Minor Threat. Once real life resumes they are definitely going to be a band to watch out for. In the meantime, There is No God Where I Am and its resulting unruliness is worth multiple spins.
There Is No God Where I Am is released on April 30 via Church Road Records
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