“This civil war aint civil anymore” Tim Kasher let’s rip on ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ and it’s just one example of his newly outward facing anger that spews forth on Cursive’s first record in over six years; Vitriola.

The art-rock band changed the landscape of emo and indie with their high-strung concept records full of snarling and the jagged saw of frenzied guitars. Their math-rock time signatures always jarring you in and out of Kasher’s anxious mind with abandon.

Vitriola, which sees the band reunite with drummer Clint Schnasse, and features their first use of cello since 2003’s The Ugly Organ, seem to have reinvigorated the band with a sense of purpose that wasn’t quite as present on 2012’s I Am Gemini. Rather than trying to fit another record into a potentially boxy concept, Kasher has gone for a reflection of the world around him. As you might expect then it’s a record whose hate is freshly squeezed.

Album closer ‘Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament’ then is a nihilistic love-letter to the nightly news which sees all the bile pour forth “I used to fall for love, for family and for friends, I used to fall for unity despite our differences, I used to fall for trust, the decency of man…now I fall in line”. It’s Kasher and Cursive at their very best, the sombre cello notes playing over discordant angular guitar riffs which slowly bleed away into the nothingness.

The circular fate of a world that is doomed to repeat itself is told on the thrashy ‘Ouroboros’ which is riddled with scuzzy feedback, but Ted Stevens’ melody manages to crack through the darkness. It’s these under-written melodies that somewhat cut the bleakness which is on offer here.

That’s not to say there aren’t any moments of hope. There are. Single ‘Life Savings’ is a condemnation of capitalism and where it has led us, which doesn’t sound like the upbeat ditty you might have been thinking I was going to mention. As the track breaks down and on a razors edge of nostalgia and apocalypse Kasher sings: “And when this horror’s over, and the greenback’s all but trashed, currency will be our head and hands – so, you don’t want to lose you head, you can’t afford to lose that.” It’s this unnerving yet innate sense that something will rise from the ashes that prevents Vitriola from leading you to emotional bankruptcy.

Cursive have long expelled the virtues of letting your pain overcome you and kicking up a goddamn fuss about it, so listen with Kasher’s own lyrical warning; “You know it’s gonna hurt, but you do it anyway”.