Altar of Plagues
Teethed Glory and Injury


5.0
classic

Review

by HarrySmalldini97 USER (2 Reviews)
October 31st, 2013 | 11 replies


Release Date: 04/30/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just utterly jaw dropping, every other Post-Black Metal band take note. This is how experimental black metal should be done!!!

This album is without a shadow of a doubt, the most impressive, unique and spellbinding album of the year. I had been familiar with Altar of Plagues music but had never given it a chance before, this is because I felt I had their sound down and threw them in the pile of standard Post-Black Metal bands.
I have never been so wrong, this album is a experimental black metal masterpiece; Massive soundscapes of post-metal infused black metal, which incorporates elements of drone and post-rock.
The experimentation and detail on this album is what makes it so amazing, they have come out of there comfort zone and tried something new.

The instrumentation on this album is dense, and done incredibly well. The guitars are tight and biting, there are the usual tremolo picked riffs but are rarely done to the same extent of their previous compositions, Post-Rock styled guitar which remind me of a schizophrenic Mogwai, drone/doom riffs which make the album extremely atmospheric and dark (think Godspeed mixed with Sunn O))) ), and syncopated sludgy riffs which really stand out and give the music a ritualistic and manic feel. For instance the staccato riffs in 'God Alone' which are just disorientating and spellbinding.
The bass is there but is mainly for backing up the guitar parts, but there are occasional bass rumbles and drones contributing to expanding the textural experimentation tenfold.
The standout though is the drumming; it is brilliant to say the least. There are the usual blast beats which add to the aggressive black metal fire, but there are also complex and interesting fills and beats which work perfectly with the music. Parts remind me of Dillingers drummer, others of Isis's drummer but he retains a constant style which is pretty unique to him. I think without the detailed drumming this album wouldn't be as good.

The vocals are just jaw dropping, the sounds he can produce from his mouth simply make other black metal vocalists look like pansy's. Super aggressive black metal rasps which are bone chilling but still add understandable narrative to the music, understanding the lyrics add a lot to the music which I feel some black metal bands lack. But it doesn't stop there, he also uses almost Post-Metal barks, and the absolutely blood curdling shrieks which make me take my hat off to him. These shrieks really add to the crescendo's of the music. There are also some really great clean vocals which add a great change in dynamic and add a great variant in melody.

James's production chops are shown well on this album by the increased use of synth's, loops and samples which are used to increase the atmosphere and intensity. An example of this is the introduction, where the increasing texture of samples, strings and synths just build like some of the best drone artists. These little sections of drone make the album flow really well, meaning that all the people who have seen the song lengths don't need to worry.
The attention to detail in these tracks keeps the album entertaining and memorable, this gives the album huge replay value because there is always something you missed, or a little tidbit which just wont get out of your head.

I feel this wouldn't have been as effective if the production wasn't as good as it is, everything is audible and incredibly mixed. It has a good amount of dynamics which a album of this style really needs. But the depth of the sound makes you feel like you are being engulfed by the music which makes the album a truly immersive experience. But the real triumph is how heavy/crushing the album is, his is done by it sounding gritty and dark but still having the clean sound which allow space for other textures and sounds to be incorporated. Bravo

As with anything it isn't without its faults, there are sections which could have been elaborated on to make a track a bit more progressive and lengthy, I agree with some people that some songs could have been longer. But they aren't, which makes the album sound more urgent and makes it more re-listenable. The drums also sound a bit muddy, and distinguishing between different toms is hard. But I feel this really doesn't take anything from the music, this is why I have given this 5/5. While there are faults, it didn't take away from the album enough to make me deduct points.

Well done Altar of Plagues, this is their farewell album and really rounds off there career on a epic note.


user ratings (356)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (5)
The magnificent oak, tall and strong....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Pheromone
October 30th 2013


3631 Comments


Paragraphs are overrated.

Digging: Squirrel Bait - Skag Heaven

HarrySmalldini97
October 30th 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They sure are

climactic
October 30th 2013


19365 Comments


really rough review (didnt neg)

your grammar, syntax and overall word choice needs some work. there are also a bunch of spelling mistakes and word
mixups (their/there in the last sentence for example). you also use lots of unnecessary apostrophes, they're not meant to
be used on plural words. final thing: learn the difference between commas, semicolons, and dashes and where to use
them

review aside, album is pretty amazing

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2013


7095 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I'll throw you a bone, it's a big one to take for a first review. Being a 5/5 and all.

This album is without a shadow of a doubt, the most impressive, unique and spellbinding album of the year.


*This album is without a doubt the most impressive, unique and spellbinding album of the year.

I had been familiar with Altar of Plagues music but had never given it a chance before, this is because I felt I had their sound down and threw them in the pile of standard Post-Black Metal bands.


I had been familiar with Altar of Plagues music but had never given it a chance before,


You know the music, but you don't know the music? Read it through, you need to make sense.

Also, there's no need to capitalize post metal or any other genre for that matter.

The experimentation and detail on this album is what makes it so amazing, they have come out of there comfort zone and tried something new.


Typical mistake of a new reviewer, or those who haven't been critiqued, trolled et cetera from Sputnikmusic's community. Try not to generalize what you're stating, these sweeping statements are unfounded - back up your opinion with examples.

The instrumentation on this album is dense, and done incredibly well.


Again, read above.

schizophrenic Mogwai, drone/doom riffs which make the album extremely atmospheric and dark (think Godspeed mixed with Sunn O))) )


Couple of points here.

1. The references you're making have no effect if your reader hasn't heard them.
2. Proofread, it's Sunn O))), not Sunn O ))) )
3. Your references, no.

____________________________________________________More on the next post/







NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2013


7095 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The bass is there but is mainly for backing up the guitar parts, but there are occasional bass rumbles and drones contributing to expanding the textural experimentation tenfold.


Reads choppy, makes little sense but I get what you're going for. Consider re-wording in order to make sense. You could explain that the bass guitar hugs the main guitar lines of the album but occasionally stands alone to give greater depth to Altar Of Plagues' music.

But it doesn't stop there, he also uses almost Post-Metal barks, and the absolutely blood curdling shrieks which make me take my hat off to him.


Why are you taking your hat off? And why is you removing clothing relevant to your readers? It's nice to list what you think are admirable (or not) features of the record, but again you need to expand and flesh your ideas out. What sets this vocal performance apart from other records? WHY is it so good?

These shrieks really add to the crescendo's of the music.


I take it you don't know what a crescendo is...
Another word of advice - Read everything out loud. If it doesn't sound right while your speaking, it's not going to sound right on text.

____________________________________________________ Still going....

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2013


7095 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

There are also some really great clean vocals which add a great change in dynamic and add a great variant in melody.


Where? How? While you're reviewing, it's NOT okay to say "this is great" and not provide why, how, where..... Don't be afraid to flesh out your ideas.

Go over your grammar, a simple check in a Word program should cover the bulk of them.

his is done by it sounding gritty and dark but still having the clean sound which allow space for other textures and sounds to be incorporated. Bravo


It has a good amount of dynamics which a album of this style really needs.


Using musical terminology, unfounded and unexplained does not cover the fact you don't know a) what you're talking about or b) not knowing how to translate those features to your readers.

Bravo


Bravo, no.

____________________________________More on next...

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2013


7095 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The drums also sound a bit muddy, and distinguishing between different toms is hard.


Did you not just say the production was great? No, maybe - - yeah you did.

this is why I have given this 5/5. While there are faults, it didn't take away from the album enough to make me deduct points


Full score, but has faults..... There must be other reasons for such a high score. For example; Is this record going to remain relevant and listenable in the next 20, 30, 50 years? Does it blow every other record ever produced in the genre out of the water? Give your readers something better than "it has problems, but I'll give it full marks because..."

Well done Altar of Plagues, this is their farewell album and really rounds off there career on a epic note.


One sentence is NEVER a paragraph. This is also almost irrelevant for someone reviewing an album, it doesn't really matter if this is their last release or their fiftieth, you're reviewing music not the impact of the band's last ever album on the metal scene.




NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2013


7095 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Not bad for a first but there's definitely room for improvement, don't let this wall of text intimidate you and keep at it.

HarrySmalldini97
October 31st 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the constructive criticism, just was bored a wrote to the music. Will retry every now and then and will probably rewrite this at some point.
Thanks for the help

HarrySmalldini97
October 31st 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I will probably be deleting this and redoing it, now that I read back through it.

zaruyache
November 1st 2013


6852 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

That sounds like a good idea. This reads are really painfully fanboy-ish.

Digging: Ardour Loom - Demo



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