Winds of Plague
A Cold Day in Hell

Adding to this year’s bumper crop of burly, breakdown inspired “death-core” come California’s Winds of Plague and their Recorse Records (based out of Independence, MO, not 2 hrs from my house) debut and for those of you that enjoy the likes of All Shall Perish, With Dead Hands Rising, Despised Icon, Embrace the End, Antagony, Animosity and The Taste of Blood, how about we throw in some atmospheric synths and melodic solos to top of the voracious heaviness?For a debut on a tiny unheard of label, this is a fucking sick album and the rest of the bands in the genre had better beware. Winds of Plague just have ‘it’; the vocals are brutal , their breakdowns are thunderously heavy, the blast beats are vicious and the elegant synths and melodic death metal solos/injections (with two performed on “Legions” and “Dead on the Dance Floor” by members of the reformed As Hope Dies) are perfectly done, not piecemeal (just check out the solo one minute into second track, “Anthems of Apocalypse”). Even with an expected slightly underwhelming production, WoP is just devastating.

Undoubtedly, the brunt of WoP’s force is their massive breakdowns that are a punishing death metal style rather than the usual brutish hardcore grooves, but the use of understated synths (that actually reminded me of Garden of Shadows) gives the pummeling moments some introspective clarity and depth. Thought a familiar vein of death metal meets hardcore courses through every track, with their keys and solos, WoP are able to define each track through some thoughtful moments without coming across as too hokey or forced, its kind of like if Edge of Sanity plagued death core; “One Body Too Many”, “Full Chamber Roulette”, “Pack of Wolves” and the seven minute epic “Dead on the Dance Floor” all punishing brutality mixed with emotive, captivating solos and synth work-the likes of which not many of WoP’s peers have pulled off. Sure, Despised Icon has the grindcore complexity, The Taste of Blood has the balls, Embrace the End have the melodies but none have been able to inject this level of captivating atmospherics for an entire album. Only the gang chorus of the out of place “Brotherhood” seems to truly step into full on simple hardcore territory (even then there is some superb harmony lines).

A killer, surprising album that came out of nowhere for me and left me stunned. Truly support independent music and grab this album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 18th, 2005

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