Century Media 2011
It’s not long before the warning bells begin to go off when listening to Winds Of Plague‘s latest full-length, “Against The World“. The heavy-handed symphonic approach that apes Danny Elfman enough to suggest they may have just dubbed the score of “Batman” is the first sign of trouble.
The next sign arrives in the laundry list of guest appearances (Hatebreed, For Today, Terror, etc.) which often outshine the bands own performances. But it is perhaps by the time that former wrestling champion The Ultimate Warrior arrives to provide a characteristically batshit rant on “The Warrior Code” that it all becomes crystal clear.
Winds Of Plague have become more of a caricature than an actual creative entity. A band littered with catch phrase choruses that feel like they were written to adorn an arsenal of black t-shirts rather than incite a cathartic release in the listener. Nothing about the album, which forcibly sandwiches standard fare metalcore, tinges of deathcore and some blackened keyboard laced elements, screams ingenuity. It’s all essentially fully developed territory as Winds Of Plague plod the same familiar path they seem stuck on.
That’s not to say some chances aren’t taken, but it’s highly debatable if the risks are worth the reward. For much like their peers in Emmure, the group also seem intent on bringing back a touch of nu-metal into their craft. In fact, those pining for a return to the late 90′s heyday need look no further than “California“, a song that sounds equal parts Biohazard and Shuvel.
That being said, while there is nothing inherently wrong with Winds Of Plague – sans perhaps the stock sounding keyboard parts which at times can resemble can resemble a dragon ladies ringtone (see “Most Hated“.) There isn’t exactly anything impressive either. The album is full of aggression, breakdowns and catchy choruses but its brawn feels exaggerated to the point of juicing, rather than a result of hard work and discipline. In many ways “Against The World” is just more of the same, not only for the band, but for the genre as well.
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