I Exist: From Darkness

Third full-length from hard- hitting Australian bruisers

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I Exist concoct a fairly agreeable combination of sludge, hardcore and hard blues on their third album. The outright hardcore of opener Lightning Curse is slightly misleading as there are obvious stoner influences here, as well as comparisons to the various riff-worshipping bands they’ve supported, including Every Time I Die, Eyehategod and Russian Circles.

While some songs clock in at a minute long, others, like the title track, last for 11 sludgy minutes and even have the good sense to drop some heavy grooves in there.

On Eternal Reign I Exist display a love for Sabbath, Pantera and Hatebreed, and Tear Down The Crucifix is outright no-frills brutality. Though singer Jake Willoughby does little to veer from the path of the barking HC preacherman, they collectively manage to avoid the clichés of the other blackened hardcore bands ploughing similar furrows.

Ride To Hell even has a vague hint of the hardest of psychedelia and a highlight comes in the shape of Fool For Death. A punishing collection.