BY Chris AyersPublished Jul 10, 2012

Vocalist/guitarist Justin Smith maintains a DIY career that most musicians spend their whole lives pursuing. Smith is the founder of Vitriol Records and leader of cinema-grind troupe Graf Orlock, not to mention the creator of edgy, improbable artwork (the pop-up '80s boombox of Gorlock's Doom Box). In Ghostlimb, Smith pursues his love of explosive hardcore and Confluence is the second instalment of a trilogy that began with last year's Infrastructure. Preferring the growling screams of Kiss It Goodbye, Smith smothers his audience with vocal napalm on the title track and the slash-and-burn "Sunlight." He weaves deceivingly melodic chords within the sonic grenades of "Ardor," "Exchange" and the magnificent "Canidae." Drummer Alex McLeod speeds up "Infrastructure" to breakneck tempos, though he reins in the moody "Conquerors of the Useless" to spotlight the band's undeniable synergy. They even cover Hot Water Music's anthemic "Southeast First" and make it their own by underlining its gambolling nature. Ghostlimb capture Smith's artistic vision as Confluence repudiates hardcore's monotony, bracing fans for the trilogy's forthcoming finale.

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