Review: “The Pleasures That Lead” by Cleansing

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Timi Jetsu, “The Pleasures That Lead” is the debut from Straight Edge Metallic Hardcore crew Cleansing. Their claim to the crown is “mixing different genres of Metal while maintaining the pure anger from the golden era of 90s Hardcore”. 

As you might expect “Prelude To…” is more than a simple introduction. Sounds of struggle, radio static and foreign voices create an eerie sense of tension before a bludgeoning wave of Integrity esq Metallic Hardcore tones and the roar of “Cleansing” bring in “…The Pleasures That Lead”. A dark spoken word a some slick leads are particularly buried in the mix while the Juggernaut gains speed and with some galloping kit work setting the tone. The bass heavy breakdown is a Biohazard “Punishment” era moment and if you don’t want to throw your body around and your friend out of window while this is playing, you need to look at yourself in the mirror. Maybe listen to some Britney Spears or something. That bass heavy groove interweaves into the intro of “Crashing Down” to excellent effect while the post verse blast beats are like a salvo of AK-47 fire in a war zone. All the classic elements of the subgenre are here with plenty of edge, style and gritty guitar work. The production is purposefully raw and harks back to the sounds of the early 90s scene with a sense of nostalgia. You can’t help but imagine Cleansing setting it off in New York’s CGBGs in this prime for example. It’s that kind of sound.

The hard hitting socially aware lyrics of “Needle Of Truth” are accompanied by a slower anvil heavy set of opening riffs before going straight Black Metal with a throat shredding scream and blast beats with an unexpected lethal injection of Nordic core influences. Breaking back into a more Metal version of their Hardcore sound with some Slayer inspired riffage and chord progressions while maintaining that sense of urgency and dramatic effect is executed to perfection and it makes for a real stand out moment, even if some purist Hardcore fans might say it’s too arty for them. Smashing down the Berlin Wall again with some adrenaline filled riffs and a scream of “Straight Edge”, “Shadow Casting Sorrowful Sight” comes out swinging with aggression and attitude. Four years living as a mess but no longer. Inner strength with a fist clenched is approach now. A melodic verse is perhaps a surprise but it’s melloncholic overtones are ones that gaze into the distance of the past and create a balance in the bands sound. Picking up with some atmospheric haunt riffs before the well mixed drum sound kicks in “Slave To Addiction” builds into a Metallic Hardcore pummelling in slick style. Accented spoken word parts are the only indication of the bands geography and the swirling dark moods show that the band have more to offer than some of the simpler structures of cookie cutter bands. “The Pleasures That Lead” is an unfolding horror story of personal insight that brings the golden era sound to 2019 [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Prelude To…
  2. …The Pleasures That Lead
  3. Crash Down
  4. Needle Of Truth
  5. Shadows Casting Sorrowful Sight
  6. Slave to Addiction

“The Pleasure That Leads” by Cleaning is out now and available via bandcamp

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