Winds Of Plague – Against The World (2011)

Posted: April 12, 2011 in Music

Winds of Plague has a bit of an identity crisis. After all, how can you not when you write music and lyrics that encompass almost every genre of today’s modern metal scene. The listener is often caught questioning themself: Is this hardcore or death metal? Is it symphonic black or dubstep? What’s with the creepy organ noise in the background? Why is that dude wearing a gold grill and a blinged-out necklace?

But for band members Jonathan Cooke, Art Cruz, Nick Eash, Andrew Glover, Nick Piunno and Alana Potocnik, they don’t care to answer such trivial questions. Their only goal is to melt your face with some of the most powerful, bombastic metal you’ve ever heard.

After two amazing releases (2008’s Decimate the Weak and 2009’s The Great Stone War), the sextet continues their onslaught on Century Media Records with Against The World, scheduled for a May 19th release in North America, followed by a summer-long appearance on the annual Vans’ Warped Tour.

Against The World is, in a nutshell, the pinnacle of the bands career. From the opening track you become immediately aware that you are in for an ass-kicking of monumental size. After 30 seconds of symphonic/synth introduction, the album kicks in with the powerful blast beats and screams that sets the tone for the next 40 minutes.

Shifting seamlessly from death metal guitars to hardcore breakdowns, one can’t help getting lost in the whirlwind of styles and sounds. The album throws track after track of interesting, well-produced metal at the listener that plays well over and over again. In fact, the music is so diverse you can’t help but follow the keyboards on one listen, air-riffing the intricate guitar solos the next, and screaming along to the chest-pounding vocals subsequent times through the album.

Not until the (near) end of the album – with the track “California”- are you finally able to finally able to pin down a genre for the band, as that track is nothing but old-school deathcore. By that time, though, you are already swallowed whole by a sound that no one else is even attempting, yet Winds of Plague have already perfected. The closest comparison this author can make is Bleeding Through, but even that is an admitted stretch.

The vocals are typical of death metal or hardcore – screaming and yelling, yet somehow the band finds a way to make this almost melodic, as it fits perfectly with the rest of the musical chaos. Credit producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed) for putting a glossy finish on this album, balancing all the elements into a fantastic release that is bound to end up on many end-of-year top metal lists.

The album features guest appearances from Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), Martin Stewart (Terror) and none other than wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior himself. Ring the bell on this one – you won’t be disappointed.

9/10

http://www.amazon.com/Against-World-Winds-Plague/dp/B004REP334/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1302645141&sr=8-2

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