After a series of singles and shorter EPs, we now have this latest album from Orcus Nullify, the South Carolinian entity lyrically taking aim at the social inequities of the modern world. Such globally pertinent topics are not usually considered the domain of goth/rock, but this is not a concern for the band as Bruce Nullify and Leonia Teaneck have clearly sharpened their verbal knives for Creatures of the Wheel. It might seem glaringly obvious from the title alone, but “Thoughts and Prayers” is one of the prime examples as lines like “Would you strike a caring word? Or bring a gavel down?” or “Do you polish your tongue around their names?” resounding with the angst and anguish of every surviving family members of a violent event, especially school shootings. The same can be said of the closing “New Dark Age,” which has its sights set squarely on the proliferation of firearms and the inability or outright refusal to effect positive change, asking point blank, “How many must die for your right to kill?” Throughout the album, Nullify emotively wails with an equal measure of hostility and restraint, often sounding less like singing and more like an oratory for the masses; this is especially so on “No Justice,” and more so the title track as he asks, “When will you see? Why don’t you see? Why don’t you stop?” with an almost desperate but defeated resignation. Meanwhile, his guitars sting with an icy resonance, reaching for high, screaming melodies like those heard on the opening “Poison Tide,” the grooving post-punk of “Bow to No Man,” and even more on the scorching walls of sonic flame that adorn “Dancing Children,” and the teeth-gnashing chords of “All the Way.” Sharing drum programming duties with Ant Bannister, the pair infuse the percussive core of the album with the right degrees of reverb and intricacy to effectively compensate for the absence of a live drummer. Add to that the classic genre tenets of a throbbing and metallic bass and cold washes of ambient guitar feedback and keyboards, and Creatures of the Wheel makes for a solid helping of socially conscious goth/rock in the early veins of IKON, The Wake, or even The Cure. Unfortunately, this does mean that the album will sounds like just another record touting a familiar style without much else to stand out besides the lyrics… but one could do far worse than to have a worthwhile message to focus one’s attentions on.