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Ghostlimb: Difficult Loves

Post-hardcore with brains as well as brawn

These LA residents are fronted by a history professor, pepper their work with references to art, politics and philosophy, and this, their fifth album, is named after a book by the late Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist Italo Calvino.

Suffice to say, there’s heart, soul and brains at work in Ghostlimb’s world. With post-hardcore melodies and unashamed emotion married to gritty blasts of grinding metalcore, they’re led by the hoarse howls of frontman and label boss Justin Smith.

The title track is urgent in its skittish impatience, the stabbing riffs barely controlled as they strain at the bit to get loose and gallop off into the sunset, spooking at their own shadow and leaping off in new directions at every turn, a moment of quiet contemplation in the middle acting as a mere breather before they’re plunging down into a deeper pit of fury.

Hints of Refused and Converge fight their way to the surface in Addressee Relocated To Cemetery, gleaming like silver through the mud and filth of the production.