Trvth
Black Horse Plague


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (197 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2013 | 610 replies


Release Date: 04/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Out of the dark comes light, bringer of peace, equaliser of man and whatever the issues to be had with the darkness, the next sunrise is only hours away.

One pleasure of being an album reviewer lies in the fact that there’s always, always something that transcends what you would normally expect from a genre/band or release giving up something that takes your breath away, highlighting the fact that you should go into every experience with open eyes and an open mind. Sure enough, there will be a steady display of on par albums and even the occasional disappointment. However, when you go into a record completely open and ready for anything, occasionally the result can be mind-blowing and even rarer the effect can be so lusciously gorgeous that it redefines just what it takes to release music in a modern world. Come 2013 and we welcome back some old flavours, some old traits back to a time where music was music, there was little in the way of studio tinkers, auto tune or frills that are so unnecessary they really hamper just what reception an album could have had. With all this in mind it’s my pleasure to listen albums from a wide variety of bands and genres sharing my opinions and in turn the music behind them. Trvth’s sophomore release is no different, Black Horse Plague is an album that harkens back to the days of 70s progressive adding various influences to create an amazingly vibrant record.

Black Horse Plague transitions between the smooth compositions of progressive music but adds elements from funeral doom, ambient, black metal and blues without forgetting just what makes this album such a pleasure to listen to. The music is complex, but not at all hard to listen to. This opus of a record stretches the boundaries of the genre, providing a depth unlike albums that would focus on intense storylines and dare it be said instrumental wanker-y. Instead, Black Horse Plague, avoids the usual stigmas associated with the genre and this one man act displays a sense of song writing ability that most would maim or kill for. In comparison to Trvth’s previous release, Black Horse Plague is a modern take contrasting with Alpha but in the best possible way. For the most part the album’s highlight is found in the instrumentation. Sole member and multi-instrumentalist, Michael Smith is honestly a master behind an instrument. From the tight and tempo varying drum work; to the guitar leads that weave and shift behind the chord structures, this is one album that makes the most of its integral parts providing an excellent yet highly fluid backbone for this interesting record. However, the album shines when it’s only a matter of one or two layers. The minimalist nature of tracks allows for the atmospheric mood that hangs over tracks to develop and build the tracks into something so much more.

For some, the album’s sheer length may just be an issue, but really it’s needed. It allows each and every track to achieve what it sets out to do exploring new sounds and occasionally experimenting in a way like few others. At one hundred minutes, Black Horse Plague isn’t the easiest album to get through, chances are if you’re not into the genre and know roughly, what would be coming you may not get through the album in one sitting. That’s far away from the fact that this album is indeed worth it. There’s no use in cramping material that needs a minimum of ten minutes into a three minute track. It becomes forced and the lengthy track times make perfect sense on a release like Black Horse Plague. Compositions switch from the smooth progressive masterpieces to aggressive, angry black metal shrieks and depressive doom passages. This is where the experimentation takes hold of the listeners’ senses, provoking the brain and captivating the listener. Music like this wasn’t made for the “casual listen”; it takes time to process each melody, each lick and to understand why this masterful musician puts features where he does.

Despite how well this sophomore comes together, there are a couple of features that mar this otherwise perfect record. The vocals are rather raw and relatively untrained; it’s unfortunate that with an album pulled off like this that the vocal aspect just doesn’t fall into place. It’s without a doubt that those shrieks and growls are pulled off with finesse, but it’s the albums cleans, that fall short of making that grand impression. Again, the lyricism and vocal work of Smith can and do hold their own. Spoken work, samples, growls, shrieks and clean croons, the album has them all. It’s just another feature of the record that promotes its overall quality. The flaw is nothing major, but is something to look into for this talented musician. In terms of context, Smith’s lyricism is deep. A host of ideals come to play ranging from topic to topic (no need to mention them, as it would only soften the effect when heard by the listener) giving life to this varying display of virtuosity.

Overall, Trvth’s 2013 record is far away from the pretentious thoughts some may be thinking but Black Horse Plague is a must listen album of the year. For fans of atmospheric progressive funeral doom crossover metal that brings back the nostalgia of 70s style progressive. Aided by a semi yet modest clear production, Black Horse Plague wraps around the listeners’ senses, enveloping what just makes this such a majestic magnum opus. It’s surprising that with music like this, that Smith makes it free, with a firm belief in free art. Arguments either for or against are irrelevant but for those interested in this style of music, it’s something to be thankful for. If you want something honest, enjoyable but without conforming to a simplicity that’s normally found in similar acts, this is the way to go. It may take a couple of sessions to fully understand this monolithic record, but once in the right mindset, the pieces fit together perfectly.



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user ratings (105)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
seedofnothing (5)
A groundbreaking album that blends numerous styles of music into one delectable meal, creating a new...

Brendan Schroer (4.5)
"...and henceforth life will continue to blossom, only to eventually face the hands of death..."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 3rd 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Because I couldn't help myself : ]

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
April 3rd 2013


14352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, I too am not the biggest fan of Cap's cleans.

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

SlMBOLlC
April 3rd 2013


5187 Comments


Where can I download this?

Funeralopolis
April 3rd 2013


11354 Comments


http://trvth.bandcamp.com/

Digging: No Joy - Wait to Pleasure

mindleviticus
April 3rd 2013


8229 Comments


I wanna listen to this when I'm in the right mood so I'm gonna wait till all my schoolwork's over. Regardless, I'm sure it rules.

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

SlMBOLlC
April 3rd 2013


5187 Comments


dat album cover btw

seedofnothing
April 3rd 2013


3425 Comments


holy crap this review is tight as fuk,

I was thinking about reviewing this too but I don't think I can match the prowess of you behemoth contributors. Great job though and nice flow.

seedofnothing
April 3rd 2013


3425 Comments


I personally really like Mikes cleans on this. I felt they were recorded and mixed way better than his first effort.

sideburndude
April 3rd 2013


2782 Comments


yay

CaptainDooRight
April 3rd 2013


29131 Comments


Mr. Garland buddy ole pal this is an amazing review. I woke up this morning and saw two black horses on the front page and
immediately knew Rob had something to do about it since you were talking about it last night. Dam you work fast, but not only
that, extremely efficient!! This review is perfect in every way and you brought out some fresh new point as well such as:

'For some, the album’s sheer length may just be an issue, but really it’s needed. It allows each and every track to achieve
what it sets out to do exploring new sounds and occasionally experimenting in a way like few others.'

This is a strong supporting argument over the length and I fully agree. I really didn't want to conform to musical standards of
length rules and what not. Things take time to develop and some of my all time favorite songs are structured in this free
flowing type of way and as long as proper compositional attention is given they can be successful. But I'm glad you thought
this was bro. A big thanks to your kindness, Robert.

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

oltnabrick
April 3rd 2013


30837 Comments


Black Horse Plauge for BNM

Digging: Yung Lean - Unknown Memory

seedofnothing
April 3rd 2013


3425 Comments


brief nude muscles?

oltnabrick
April 3rd 2013


30837 Comments


Biggest Naked Man

seedofnothing
April 3rd 2013


3425 Comments


Black Neanderthal MEtal

Evreaia
April 3rd 2013


4040 Comments


Everyone not 5'ing this needs to get their head chopped of and offered to Satan.

DominionMM1
April 3rd 2013


9936 Comments


i wonder how many of these 5s will remain as 5s after people listen to this for a second time

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - In The Beginning

seedofnothing
April 3rd 2013


3425 Comments


Everyone not 5'ing this needs to get their head chopped of and offered to Satan[2]

"i wonder how many of these 5s will remain as 5s after people listen to this for a second time"

Already on my 5th listen so what now nig.

Mike08
April 3rd 2013


607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^^

And on the 7th day of July 1777...

seedofnothing
April 3rd 2013


3425 Comments


not even sure what that means

oltnabrick
April 3rd 2013


30837 Comments


i think its a king diamond reference lol



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