This is what I know: Ghostlimb’s Infrastructure was the first album I bought on Bandcamp. I was probably drawn by the connection to Graf Orlock, who share in Justin Smith a common member, but the music pulses with an angry hardcore energy that is in direct opposition to the film reference-laden grindcore Graf Orlock was peddling at the time.
Listening to it for the first time in years I’m drawn to the amount melody hidden beneath the surface. Tracks like “Asphalt” are seething with fury, but just below the surface are small moments of fragility. “Unending Ache” zigs with a muscular rhythm, and there’s a great clarity to the production. Clocking in at about 26 minutes the album is a blur of I guess what folks call “post-hardcore” for lack of a better term (it seems anything that’s not straight up within the rigid confines of a genre is “post-“) but the vocals and lyrics whip with the open chord distortion to chalk up a pretty clean picture of what I like about metallic hardcore.
The back half of the album continues the trend of quick, killer tracks: “Traverse” and “Substructure” are fantastic rushes, and the epic (at four minutes) “Eight” feels a good capper to Infrastructure, which makes it strange that the album actually ends with something called “Plastic Surgery,” which is an awkward acoustic piece that doesn’t do the headrush of the previous 23 minutes any favors.
Ending aside, Infrastructure builds on the work done by 2012’s Confluence by expanding Ghostlimb’s hardcore scope beyond its humble self-titled beginnings, and delivers a solid slab of metallic hardcore I need to revisit more often.