The Plague Symphony - The Black Gate (Mini-CD)
The Devil Knows You're Dead Records
file under Death metal
Menno: The Plague Symphony's debut record seems to be a worthy full-length, but in fact it's just a twenty minute EP (intro included). The CD has some very nice and dark artwork done by Cris Narcosis (who did artwork for bands like Necrophagist and Brutal Truth). It all begins with a very atmospheric intro, which turns out to stand in great contrast with the rest of the CD when the first song 'Path of Peril' commences.
For a band with such a professional way of presenting themselves, the production is very mediocre. I'd say take the money from the artwork and invest it in a better sounding production. Anyway, lets try to ignore the fuzzy black metal sound and focus on the music, for that turns out to be not that bad at all. The Plague Symphony plays a very heavy mix of hardcore, death metal and grindcore. Don't worry, it ain't a metalcore band for sure; think more in the direction of i.e. The Black Dahlia Murder, but then just a tad darker.
According to the band, some of their other influences are Necrophagist, Decapitated and Dimmu Borgir. I can follow the band here quite well; hyper-speedy and technical, but always minding the overall groove. De vocals are strong and the guitarists use nice sweep-solos to show us their capabilities. The only thing left to say is that the production is a crying shame and the record is over before you can say "grindcoreiswonderfullfuckingmusic". I feel that the band could have done way better.
Rating: 73/100 (details)