Altar Of Plagues
Sol


4.0
excellent

Review

by The Green Scarf Bandit of Italy USER (17 Reviews)
August 5th, 2009 | 19 replies | 8,365 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Perhaps not the greatest thing that ambient black metal has to offer, but with their debut EP, Altar of Plagues makes it quite clear that they have a unique bent for creating a proverbial "Soundtrack to the Apocalypse"

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

The soundtrack to the apocalypse. Since the creation of ambient music a long time ago, many bands have walked the path towards creating one such soundtrack, an album immaculately proportioned and polished, brimming with heart rending instrumentals, and gloomy haunted vocals that lull the listener into a trance, awash in some many artificial emotions that they are almost unable to conceive their own. I have only ever heard a few such soundtracks, most notably "F# A# Infinity," by post-rock legends Godspeed You! The Black Emperor. Altar of Plagues has created what I believe to be another "soundtrack to the apocalypse" however their definition completely redefines the hallowed phrase. Sol takes us right to the bloody genesis of the Armageddon, to a world that is still engulfed in flames and terror and brimming with raw emotion.

It's the end of the ***ing world.

In your ears.

Altar of Plagues is one of the few black metal bands that can convey more emotion than raw hate through their music. Musically, AoP surrenders nothing of the black metal sound, staying true to the tradition of hyper speed tremolo picked riffs and chord-shredding screams and shouts. The only thing that sets them apart from black metal is the complete absence of the frenzied blast beating sound. The drums are heavy and lethargic, counter-acting the brutality of the guitar work and creating a dense and stable atmosphere.

Altar of Plagues dense sound truly shines though in the guitar work. Unlike in most black metal, AoP does not write sinister, high pitched riffs that are intended to add to the carnage, they create massive ***ing riffs that come crashing down in an obliterating wall of sound that I thought I would never hear outside of doom. Despite the lack of soloing, and very little melody, the guitar never ceases to entertain.

Additionally, Sol is backed by quite a powerful vocal performance, ranging from stinging screams to throaty growls. Although this sounds no different then the average metal performance, the amount of emotion conducted through the vocals is almost inconceivable. The shrieks and shouts emanate despair, hopelessness and depression fluidly and perfectly and take the listener right the to AoP’s bleak and violent vision of the end of the world.

Although a little bit hard to digest, Sol is a black metal album that breathes new life into the genre. Some songs drag a bit in places but this is true for most ambient music, particularly metal. Veterans of the genre will hardly notice.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zip
August 5th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good shit right here.

Zip
August 5th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah the "EP" thing is bullshit this is like almost forty fucking minutes.

fireaboveicebelow
August 5th 2009



6837 Comments


is this as good as Maelstrom

Zip
August 5th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, nothing is as good as Maelstrom.

fireaboveicebelow
August 5th 2009



6837 Comments


super

Zip
August 5th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MARE DI CADAVERI!

Crimson
August 5th 2009



1935 Comments


sweet review, need this

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 5th 2009



8221 Comments


good review, but

Despite the lack of soloing, and very little melody
this put me off quite fast, so yaah I am prolly not going to check this out, I wan't melodies goddammnit.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

BallsToTheWall
August 5th 2009



44164 Comments


These guys could be great if they wrote more interesting shit and tacked off the pretentious song lengths with underwhelming songwriting. Nice review though.

Wizard
August 5th 2009



18755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the lead singer for this band is from Graves at Sea, sounds the same anyways. White Tomb was a huge disappointment so I don't I will bother with this. Good review and pos'.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

MassiveAttack
August 5th 2009



2684 Comments


Gotta comment, very good review Zipper. I remember when you started reviewing and actually took it more seriously, now you write a fantastic review like this. Nice job!

BallsToTheWall
August 5th 2009



44164 Comments


This bands from Ireland. Are you sure Wizard?

Zip
August 6th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the thing that really got to me was the song length. If they made more short and sweet songs like The Titan Skies and added a little bit more of the industrial ambience kinda thing, they would have a whole ot of great songs because seriously, we are talking a MOUNTAIN of riffs here.

jingledeath
August 6th 2009



7104 Comments


White Tombs was solid for me so I should definitely try this out.

Wizard
August 6th 2009



18755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This bands from Ireland. Are you sure Wizard?

Pretty sure about this, especially after listening to a split of Graves at Sea last night.

jingledeath
August 7th 2009



7104 Comments


That split is bone crushing good man and the Graves at Sea vocalist did some guest vocals on White Tomb, he's not actually in this band.

Wizard
November 4th 2009



18755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for clarifying that jingle (a little late). This was suprisingly solid and alot better than White Tomb.

Shuyin
March 6th 2013



10396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album, that last song m/

Digging: All the Empires of the World - Sunscraper

walnuts
September 4th 2013



24 Comments


Album cover has a Silent Hill kinda vibe



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