Review Summary: From Failure, Comes Clarity
Ever since their seemingly unstoppable deathcore hit “Decimate the Weak”, its seems Winds of Plague been a down a downward spiral since 2008. Sure, The Great Stone War wasn’t bad by no means, but had a hard time living up to their older brother by fans and critics. This by no mean made it a bad album, just an overshadowed concept album with not enough room to grow. From this, we got Against the World, which was plagued by bad production and any sort of enjoyability. Resistance sought out a more hopeful direction for Johnny and the crew( + 1 token female) but again found itself lacking in heart of spirit of the first 2 albums just like its predecessor. At this rate, it looked as if Winds of Plague would either stop music altogether, or dig themselves into a further hole of mediocrity.
And then Never Alone was released
The gang shouts, the heavy symphonics, the aggressive guitars, fast paced drums and energetic vocals saw Winds of Plague right in the former face of “that 2008 ***”, but in a new light. Could the rest of the album even begin to compare to this song? Or would we be faced with a one hit wonder as Sewer Mouth was in Resistance?
No Resistance 2.0 here boys, Blood of my Enemy showcases Winds of Plague at the best they’ve ever been. Top notch production, aggressively groovy instruments with unique and energetic choruses are found in every song. From the symphonic gang shouts of “Snakeskin” or the emotionally distraught tone of “Nameless Walker”, or the simply spoken aggressive nature
of “Soul Eater” every song has its own thing going for it. Despite the lack of vocal diversity, Johnny Plague delivers his best performance yet, showcasing such a destructive energy that works beautifully in front of the symphonic groove found in every song. This energy is best show cased in “5150”, where Johnny sounds straight pissed the *** off
. One could say Johnny was Never Alone
(hah) as keyboard player Adrienne Cowan also finds herself in the chorus of the self titled track, working magnificently alongside Johnny, but unfortunately singing for this track alone, leaving her voice to be possibly desired in other tracks.
From a deathcore fans perspective, it's hard to find a lot truly wrong with this album, but one cannot ignore the cheesy “do your best” and "about to lose control" lyrics found in the affairs of “Snakeskin”, "Kings of Carnage" and such, but they are in no way terrible writers and the music definitely backs it up. For instance, I can't help but get incredibly hyped before the breakdown of the s/t track with Johnny exclaiming he would “Go to War Without a Shield” and “Gladly Die on the Battlefield” (quickrhymes) before diving into a breakdown. As corny as it may sound, it's undeniable of how fun this album can be. I found myself loving the symphonically backed breakdowns and aggressive nature of Johnny Plague, but others may obviously find fault in this, because all in all, its still another deathcore release from one of deathcores most prominent acts.
But it's great to not only see Winds of Plague return, but to see them come back stronger than ever, showcasing that one of Deathcore's old dogs still has alot of bite to back its bark.
Blood of My Enemy