Review: “Kill or Be Killed” by Ligature

(Knuckle) sandwiched between Liverpool and Manchester is Warrington, not the kind of place you’d expect to find a Beatdown Hardcore band. None the less Ligature – vocalist Jack Lamb, bassist Perry Brockley, axe welding duo Dan James and Sean McKay and drummer Chris Mitchell – call it home and have been playing shows since early 2018. A two track demo “Otis” was their first recorded material and dropped in January. Having shared stages with Lashing Out and Cold Hate earlier this year, guitarist Sean McKay was tasked with Mixing & Mastering their debut EP “Kill or Be Killed“.

After a menacing opening riff and drum pattern, “Self Entitled” roars out of the gate like a Pitbull stung on the balls by a bee with two step action before dropping down into a Downtempo Deathcore purge verse. The two styles are at polar opposite scales of the sonic approach and yet the satisfying skull crushing anvil heavy exhale is the ecstasy of a final breath. “Khitlist” has the opening lines that makes it sound like a Pintglass track before going for the jugular with that same pair of contrasting styles. Ripping it up with adrenaline fueled high octane riffs between slow, stomp crush Deathcore in the verses. Someone has crossed Lamb and he’s out with his Knuckleduster on this one. “Anguish” has a couple of not quite Slam moments as its rage comes to a thirsty and miserable boil, with Lamb achieving some Ben Mason level gravity defying lows. The quality of the recording has made for a big percussive sound, with a rumbling low end of bass and guitar tones that bring a early 90s Hardcore vibe. “Kill or Be Killed” sees the double headed dragon of Andi and Josh from German Beatdown crew Harlekin joining in the for a verse as Ligature tempo shift like a snake moving over desert sands. It’s filthy, violent and fun, like putting a brick through your neighbors window after they key your car. Expect to find them on the road with the likes of Street Soldier and with no Biohazard cover in sight [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Self Entitled
  2. Khitlist
  3. Anguish
  4. Kill or Be Killed (ft. Harlekin)

Kill or Be Killed” by Ligature is out now and available over at bandcamp

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