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Friday, February 15, 2008

CD Review: Winds of Plague - Decimate the Weak

Winds of Plague - Decimate the Weak
2008 Century Media Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

You're off to a pretty good start when your album cover sports a samuarai wielding bloody wakizashi, but as we all know, it's the meat inside the packaging that counts. If it's full of filler and gristle, then one could easily accuse it of dressing things up, leaving just enough of the good parts to barely warrant its existence.

SoCal's Winds of Plague has a lot of good ideas. Now on their second album Decimate the Weak, the formerly-known Black December obviously has big things in mind. It's fully apparent by Decimate the Weak that Winds of Plague is still scripting together the many influences and external voices to create their own unique style, which is to bring the whole kibosh together in as grand a style as they can muster.

What's to their favor is a terrific pair of guitarists Nick Piunno and Nick Eash, who make a formidable alliance for anyone's band, much less Winds of Plague. Frankly, these guys are the voice of Winds of Plague, even as vocalist Johnny Plague yelps, pukes and displays his affinity for F-bombs, and even as keyboardist Matt Fineman applies nice coats and supplements to give Winds of Plague's disordered metalcore base a slightly grandiose lift, particularly on "Origins and Endings," "One Body Too Many" and "Angels of Debauchery."

What Winds of Plague is attempting to do with Decimate the Weak is to collide American hardcore with Euro and Scandinavian death and power metal. While the intention is noble, it's their propensity to skid all momentum into singular breakdown sequences that only work on occasion, while positively disrupting in others, "Angels of Debauchery" being an example of the former, "A Cold Day in Hell" an example of the latter.

If anything, Winds of Plague are showing a demonstrative ability to think outside the box. Additionally, what they've achieved since their days of playing in limited spurts during college semester breaks is pretty noteworthy. Everything they've put into "Angels of Debauchery," the album's finest cut, brings forth strains of Iron Maiden as it does Faith No More amidst its primary hardcore foundry. Most certainly this band is going to catch on with a number of listeners because they possess the go-nuts breakdown angle that gets the kids bouncing, but Winds of Plague is at least smart enough to recognize the limitations metalcore has milked to death and they're seeking other measures even as they're still confined by its central principles. Given the chance to continue their genesis, hopefully Winds of Plague finds further recognition and then really unleashes the hounds.

Rating: ***


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review the new album

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the cover of this album...the only feeling that I can express is a incredible desire to kill, really men, just look that samurai over that bodies pile.

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