‘Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred’ is the fourth album by Twitching Tongues, and twelfth recording, since their inception in 2009. It is their first release with Metal Blade Records. They emanated from the hardcore scene in Los Angeles but have morphed into something more than this sole genre.

Taylor Young (Nails) is the vocalist and guitarist in Twitching Tongues, with his brother vocalist Colin Young (Sorcerer’s Pledge, God’s Hate, ex-Alpha and Omega, ex-Ruckus) as well as members of various other bands, including Cayle Sain (Mizery) and F. Sean Martin (ex-Hatebreed).

“Failure” is a theme central on ‘Gaining Purpose…’and the current state of the American government drove him to use political themes in its lyrics. The title is from a passage from philosopher friend Eric Hoffer “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life”. It pays homage to those who supported them while simultaneously giving two fingers up to their detractors.

To this reviewer the sound of Twitching Tongues feels a more nu- or ambient metal than a Hardcore /Metal sounding band. There are flavours of, and some quite visceral riffs from hardcore but it’s more metal, and of an ambient ilk as explained above.

Forgive and Remember starts off with a single repeated bass drum kick, then menacing guitar enters, it builds, and vocalist Young enters with a soulful and mournful tone over that which builds at a plodding pace. It’s like an operatic doom. Some great riffs come in to the tune in its later half when the tempo kicks in at a quicker pace that soon slows again until its end, clocking in at a length of five and a half minutes.

Defection (State of the Union) is the longest track on ‘Gaining Purpose…’ at just under seven minutes, it mixes soaring guitars with pianos and noodling guitars. I feel it betrays some of the ethos of hardcore it uses to describe their sound genre. It may be an ethos of Twitching Tongues, but it perhaps could be argued to drop in description of their music. Call it metal and be done with it. In listening to this album the hardcore sound has nearly dissipated.

If asked to pick something that might be favourite tunes on this disc, of nine songs with a run time of 39 minutes, it’d be Harikiri and The Sound of Pain. This is due to them being more brief (three minutes, and two minutes respectively), being more crunching tunes, quicker pace, and more feeling in the vocals that I appreciate – not the breathy vocals that occur on many tracks on ‘Gaining Purpose…’

Twitching Tongues new album ‘Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred’ is a unique and perplexing metal album of some beauty but may polarise audiences.

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