It’s been almost 10 years since the Welsh post-hardore outfit released their beloved debut, Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation, and they’ve been trying to live up to it ever since. Conduit, their sixth album and first since the departure of drummer and sometime vocalist Ryan Richards, is their best in years, hitting upon just the right combination of melody, thrash, and hooks. It’s as emo-y and death-obsessed (“How many friends can I lose/Before it all makes sense?” they wonder on the killer first single “Best Friends and Hospital Beds”) as you’d expect. Depressing but never oppressive. ALLISON STEWART
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