(Sorry State Records)
When a hardcore band ventures beyond the 2-5 year lifespan typical of the genre they’re treading into largely uncharted territory, and as a result Dark Ages’ latest LP sounds like little in the canon of fast, 80s-inspired hardcore. Which isn’t to say that they’ve changed their approach; this is still fast, tight US hardcore inspired by the midwest classics, but after five years of woodshedding they’ve managed to excise anything that feels cliche, familiar, or obvious from these songs. Captured with an absolutely stunning, fully analogue recording, Vapor is that rare record that is at the same time visceral and cerebral, constantly surprising you while still making you want to mosh, circle pit, or whatever it is that you do. If you’re a huge fan of Articles of Faith’s Give Thanks LP or you wish that Die Kreuzen had recorded an LP that fused the energy of their first LP with the progressivism of October File, then let me introduce you to your new favorite record.