Friday, March 3, 2017
Plagues : " The Great Dark Devotion"
From the opening track of their new album it's apparent where they are getting it right. In some ways similar to a band like Woe, these guys do not live and die by the blast beat affording the songs to find their own way to come to life. The vocals are a very blown out and ugly howling. The production is dense and nasty in the right places without sacrificial the over all sound. Even with all they have going on for them in the first song it makes me ask what else can they do? "Abyss" trades out some of the mood established in the first song for more of the primal savagery.They are able to due this in while still hooking you in with the riffs. The howling vocals took over on the slowed sludged stomp of "Ascension" . The first song where the more black metal elements hit a rabid place of meeting noise and intensity occurs on "Dust " where the tremolo picking becomes a blur and doesn't connect with me like the first things songs did.
While it's very angry 'Winter Tomb" gets them back on track in terms of song writing. "Hell" has more of a burly Swedish death metal feel in line with what Entombed once did in a few spots. It raging along at a more manic almost d-beat like punk pace that gives it a whip-lashing thrash. At this point in time no new ground is being broken . I took a break from this album and came back to find the energy of "Sins" welcomed me back. It has a snarling aggression that blends there more d-beat style with the black metal in an older black metal style that dirties up what Celtic Frost used to do.Is it the most original song on the planet...no , but it works for what is going on here.I like the darker throb of the 11 plus minute closing hymn "Devotion" . Once again these guys are not reinventing the wheel and there is a pulse not unlike that of a band like Inquisition, but it is done with a more feral honesty. I'll give this album a 9, they put heart into it, though it's not something I can really hear myself having to have on my iPod, it's good American black metal for fans of that sort of non-corpse paint and running on anger brand of metal.