Monday, 20 July 2015

Plaguewielder - 'Chambers of Death' (Album Review)


‘Ominously named, and equally ominous with their execution, Plaguewielder has no real give to their sound, the first track, ‘Existence is Our Exile’, simply shreds against the walls of your mind, with the torturous vocals raking like the nails of the dead against the inside of your skull.’

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 25/08/2015
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

‘Chambers of Death’ CD//DD track listing:

1). Existence is our Exile
2). Drowned
3). Casket of Dying Flesh
4). Father Suicide
5). The Funeral March

Plaguewielder is:

Louis Munoz | Drums
Christophe Trausch | Guitars
Maxime Weber | Keyboards
Nicholas O’ Connell | Vocals, bass

Review:

We all love music that gets our blood pumping,  tales of felling mad beasts and men that dare challenge our supremacy. But what of those that wish for bleakness, that nothing in this world is worth it, and that the soul is ever stained with an encroaching darkness? Plaguewielder is that band, bringing forth the miasmic melancholy woven throughout their newest album, the 5 track ‘Chambers of Death’.

Ominously named, and equally ominous with their execution, Plaguewielder has no real give to their sound, the first track, ‘Existence is Our Exile’, simply shreds against the walls of your mind, with the torturous vocals raking like the nails of the dead against the inside of your skull. They play a very gothic style of doom/sludge (though sludge is a reach, they aren't fast and dirty), utilizing a very haunting keyboard to waltz around the no frills guitar. They utilize a din of heavy rumbling, instruments that sound like they are in a different room, softly heard and with a vocalist seemingly going through so much personal pain, one could not bear to see his torturous lamentations towards the recording mic. 

It is not all despair however, Plaguewielder continually break up the pacing and feel of the album, many times within the middle of long songs. ‘Drowned’, the second track, is a great example, as it starts with a catchy riff, utilizing that dark overdriven tones they love, and then segueing into a much cleaner, more accessible dirge. It plays like a happy depression, honestly, still very heavy and subdued, but you could live with the feeling for quite a while. Then, for track 3, ‘Casket of Dying Flesh’, you stumble out of the overgrown hedge maze into a very surprising discovery: a very curious carnival. Everything seems to sound the same, but with a slight edge to it. They bring the macabre to the theater, with games on display that are vaguely familiar, but you cannot recall from where, with people who seem like they've been in all your dreams but with different faces. The whole album does keep a dream like quality to it, segueing into different styles and keeping you guessing. 

A great example of this is ‘Father Suicide’, track 4, which starts with a decidedly proggy jazz feel, actually bringing the album up a couple of notches in attitude and positive energy. It's not drenched in loathing, so it's like breaking the surface after staying at the bottom of the ocean. A weird feeling for a song entitled ‘Father Suicide’, but it feels very good.  It returns to darker themes and tones but keeps a frantic, almost panicked pace at the 3 minute mark, coming back to a mellow section that is very beautiful and relaxing. On the whole it is a well produced and thought-out song, and a very good entry point to this record.

This record is for those who like a little bit of sadness in their musical pantheon, and who can handle the emotions that a well wrought album can bring about inside them. Plaguewielder, for all the horrendousness they have in the name and the album title, ‘Chambers of Death’, have given an outlet for the listener to go through a vast gamut of emotions, and come out appreciating that they aren't the ones burning from the inside and screaming these lyrics.

Words by: Hunter Young

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