Purification- A Torch to Pierce the Night

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, December 26, 2012

They may have been around during the peak time period of metalcore’s early years, but chances are you may not know Italy’s Purification. The main reason for this has been that the band has mostly existed through demos and EP’s, and before this year’s A Torch to Pierce the Night album their only other full length came out in 2003. Purification plays a familiar brand of heavy hitting hardcore and metalcore that has some catchy riffs, but issues with the production and vocals hold the effort back.

After a short electronic intro, the instrumentalists kick in with a melodic guitar intro that sounds like it might lead into some thrash riffs rather than metalcore. It doesn’t take long before the familiar chugging and heavy hitting riffs kick in to solidify just what style Purification leans towards the most, but throughout the course of A Torch to Pierce the Night there are some moments where the instrumentals up the tempo and offer some thrash sounding sections. This is definitely a good thing, as I’ve found that bands that go just for chugging and breakdowns tend to get repetitive quickly and it gives these guys a bit more diversity. However, elements of the production keep the songs from hitting as hard as they could. The drums in particular feel a bit too thin and this leaves some of the material feeling a bit flat rather than hitting the listener head on. The inclusion of “Wake Up” before a bonus track is a bit strange, as this particular number is a spoken word piece by John Joseph (Cro-Mags) that contains no instrumentals. I’m not opposed to the band offering these messages and giving Joseph the opportunity to contribute this track, but it kills some of the momentum build up by the rest of the album.

Purification’s lead singer goes for a scream that is similar to other hardcore vocalists out there, but it ends up feeling a little flat. Perhaps it’s partially due to the mixing often putting the screaming off and in the background, but they just don’t have the same level of energy that you’d expect from this genre and become a bit grating as the same pitch is used for the entire album. Occasionally the band throws in some backing spoken word sections, but it just isn’t enough. While screaming in metalcore/hardcore that doesn’t change that frequently usually isn’t a problem for me, there was just something about the performance on this album that just didn’t click.

A Torch to Pierce the Night has some decent riffs and does attempt to integrate some thrash influences into the metalcore base, but the vocals keep it from being an album I’ll return to. Purification may have been around for almost as long as some of the genre’s bigger names but it doesn’t feel like this effort truly reflects that. It’s a shame, but if the group does decide to refocus and put out another release down the road I’d still be willing to give them another shot.


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