Monday, 6 November 2017

Winds Of Plague "Blood Of My Enemy" (2017)

I checked out from this band pretty much immediately after their attention grabbing debut album had worn out its attention span. After a shoddy demo record the group got signed to Century Media and bolstered the symphonic aspect to their sound, setting them aside from other Deathcore bands at the time. Crunching breakdowns, filthy screams and empiric symphonies collided to form a cheap and flashy sound that would have you for a few listens. Over the years they have become a mockery to critics and this newest release will probably be no exception. Bar founding singer Johnny Plague, a complete line up change could of given the band a chance to evolve but its business as usual, the same music they were making a decade ago.

Blood Of My Enemy isn't awful but its constantly swirling in mediocrity where moments of chemistry found between the tight chugging guitar and rich orchestral synths are continually dispelled by the arrival of Johnny's tone deaf vocals and impact-less gang shouts. Its a solid sounding record where the modern production gives room for the instrumentals to vibe easily in their audibility. Crisp, snappy drums drive the rounded guitars which deploy a variety of riffing styles stretching from choppy thrashing, to mid tempos grooves and slower chord led passageways. The synths bring cultural echos and atmosphere fit for epic battles as they stitch in sounds around the guitars direction, occasionally coming with Gothic tones that accent and expand the sound otherwise not heard.

On there own we would have a reasonable record but like with their debut there is something about Johnny Plague I just don't vibe with. His scream is always fretting on the same anger with a lack of range or inventiveness in his delivery. A lot of shifts and turns hinge around his break out screams and gang shouts which continuously dispel any charm the instrumentals where building. His lyrical style focuses entirely around the "life is war", "stand your ground" hardened mindset heard in Hardcore music but the constant grotesque swearing and obsession with pairing it to actual war leads it into the unfortunate territory of "cringe" lyrics given his committal to lines like "I will give my life on the battlefield, drowning in the blood of my enemies". Simplistic language, a lack of depth and turning the same idea over and over tires instantly.

There is merit in the instrumentals but the whole vocal aspect is awful. A guest feature on the title track shows how much better this could be with someone else, I believe the voice is Courtney LaPlante formerly of Iwrestledabearonce who elevates the song. This record is massively hindered by its lead member, who is employing the same ideas that faded away ten years ago. There's more shuffled and rearranged breakdowns running on empty, sounding flat and lackluster when they jump into a song. Poor record, doubting I will be back again.

Rating: 3/10