Review Summary: Death Metal and Metalcore finally has something new to sound like
Deathcore, known as the mix between Hardcore and Metal, with Death Metal influences. Such bands as All Shall Perish, Job For A Cowboy, and a whole bunch more coming there way into the new Metal scene. With all these bands, your thinking, not another generic Death Metalcore band with lame predictable breakdowns talking about Shredded wheat. In comes band, Winds of Plague, hailing from Upland, California.
Jonathan Cooke - Vocals
Nick Eash - Guitar
Nick Piunno - Guitar
Jeff Tenney - Drums
Matt Feinman - Keyboard
Andrew Glover - Bass
Starting when you put the disk into the player you first notice something different, the keyboards used. This isn’t a trick, this isn’t just used in the intro only, this is Winds of Plague. The intro settles you into the album, really its nothing too big, just a good set up to the first song Anthems Of The Apocalypse. From the first real song the guitars lead you in with a nice clean sound to the guitar, with the double bass rapidly playing with the bass, and the rhythm guitar using minor breakdowns. This song is probably the best example for what they typically sound like. They lead you with interesting melodic guitar riffs, that ever so often will be interrupted by breakdowns. The keyboards then are added to add a more epic atmosphere. During this song the tempo is changed a lot, usually ended by the breakdowns after the lead guitar is halted.
The next song, The Impaler, shows off the more guttural sound of the vocalist where he can sound extremely low. The vocalist only problem is he doesn’t have much range when growling, he doesn't show that he can hit highs like All Shall Perish, instead when he ends a sentence or line he trails off, which in this case the keyboards really come in handy, and mixes well. In the next two songs, in my opinion the best songs, the keyboards play a huge role in adding a haunting/epic feeling to the songs. Almost like how Nile, and Egyptian themed Death Metal band, does. The best parts are when the lead guitar takes control of the song and plays in harmony with the keyboards, instead of just adding like a filler part. As that song trails off, the intro of Origins And Endings starts with almost the same theme as the last song which makes perfect sense. Using the same techniques as the last song, its proven that this formula of the keyboards acting like an orchestra role in the songs, works well to give that dark feeling.
One other stand out song that comes in mind in this album is Reloaded. Reloaded is almost Punk Death Metal, the style in which chanting is dominate, and the vocal style you would often here with heavy hardcore influenced bands. The song is a nice change but often I listen to it, it becomes more and more obvious it just doesn’t belong in the album, and the lyrics are quite lame. The only good thing about this song is its change in sound showing they can write other style songs. Plain and simple, this just didn't belong.
The high points of this album is the great use of the keyboards, probably one of the better albums I’ve heard from a hardcore influenced band. Instead of making it as like the keyboards were just thrown in there to make it sound cooler, it actually adds to the music, and plays a big role in its success. The lead guitars are also another huge plus for this band, in which it played very well with the keyboards and had some very interesting solos, and guitar leads that make it a treat to listen to. The low points are some of the lyrics, the “mutha ***ers”, and the chanting doesn’t do anything for the album but make it more childish sounding. Also, the breakdowns are a little too much at times, and get a little typical with the formula. Overall, I really enjoyed this album even after 10 listens, it was a great refresh to hear something a little original instead of a lot of the same thing I’ve been checking out lately.
Anthems Of The Apocalypse
Decimate The Weak
Origins And Endings