Bryan Eckermann
Plague Bringers

Brian Eckermann is a prolific solo artist from San Antonio, Texas who has also served in other local obscure Texas bands like Scars of the Flesh, Winters Plague, and Wings of AbaddonPlague Bringers is his eighth solo album and a direct follow-up to 2018s Winters Plague (The Final Eclipse), telling the story of an alien invasion.  And if you’ve listened to any Hypocrisy over the last 20 years, you should be able to tell the primary influence immediately.

Aliens? Melodic death metal? Moodier slower, keyboard-filled songs? check. check and check. And unfortunately, that’s about all I really have to say about this otherwise professional and competent artist and release. There’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s also nothing too memorable either. Eckermann, plays all the instruments very well and certainly knows his way around a lead/solo, and his home production at his own Bonespill Studios, stands up with anything from a bigger name studio. But amid the 70 minute, 12 song album, nothing truly stands out.

Clearly, Eckerman put a lot of work into this concept and album, and some of the keyboard work is nice, and I hate to be a negative Nancy, but the 12 songs are all just kind of ‘there’ like the deluge of melodic death metal that came out in the late 90s, early  00s. He’s got all the pieces here that meet melodic death metal standards, but he leans hard into the more introspective moments (i.e “Sands of the Hourglass”, the acoustic intro to “Reflections in a Dirty Mirror”, “An Oath of Scrying Souls”, “Astral Realms”, “Of Death and Decay”) all clear, slow Hypocrisy inspired numbers and he really likes his atmospheric intro to songs with most having some sort of acoustic of atmospheric lead-in. Even Ecekmann’s vocals are pure Peter Tagtgren worhsip with a high pitched rasp and some spoken word/whispers thrown in.

And the lack of more energetic, faster songs or moments leads to a pretty meandering overall album. Even if a couple of songs have some faster riffs sprinkled in like opener “The Ice Queen” or “Tomorrow’s Lie” and a mid paced stomp or two (“The Devouring Sun”) But the fact is even Hypocrisy’s least interesting albums are still a little more memorable or impactful than Plague Bringers.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 11th, 2022

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