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Bryan Eckermann – Plague Bringers Award winner

Bryan Eckermann
Plague Bringers
by Alex Barnard at 16 December 2021, 9:55 PM

BRYAN ECKERMANN is a Melodic Black/Death Metal solo artist from San Antonio, TX. “Plague Bringers” is his eighth full length album, released independently on November 5, 2021.

Outside of his solo project, which already has a prolific output, Eckermann has been involved in a number of bands including WINGS OF ABBADON and SCARS OF THE FLESH, to name a few. Thus, it is quite clear that Eckermann is a very hard worker. It is through his solo project, however, that he is able to truly let his talents shine. Eckermann’s riffs recall the essence of DEATH’s “The Sound of Perseverance” while combining elements from bands such as MAYHEM, AT THE GATES, and KING DIAMOND (especially in his guitar solos, like on the track “The Devouring Sun” – very LaRocque-ian, if you will). While his voice reminds me most of CARCASS’s Jeff Walker, he demonstrates a pretty wide range in a very subtle way, reaching Rob Halford-level falsettos in some of his backing vocals (“Moonlight and Frostbite”). And last but not least, his work on the keyboard is truly inspired, reminiscent of some of the haunting sounds featured on KING DIAMOND’s 1990 classic “The Eye” (“Ice Queen”). Obviously, Eckermann belongs to the same class of musician as Devin Townsend and Peter Tägtgren.

Other highlights from this album include the title track, which goes from “stomp riffs” as I like to call them (you know, like the ending riff in SLAYER’s “Raining Blood” – something that makes you want to stomp) to clean, foreboding serenity; “Of Death and Decay,” which so prominently featured Black Metal elements that I felt as if I was trapped in a Norwegian winter; and “Oblivion,” a beautiful instrumental track that, instead of stopping the album’s momentum as most tracks of this ilk do, gives us a way to process all of the brutality that ensued before it.

Overall, this is a great record. Eckermann’s ideas are fresh and raw, which is no small feat when you’ve released eight full length albums already. Much like SWEEPING DEATH, whose EP “Tristesse” I reviewed a few weeks back, it astounds me that Eckermann is not signed to a label. His style would fit so perfectly within the ranks of Nuclear Blast’s roster. If there are any labels reading this review, contact Eckermann immediately! He deserves to be signed.

Production: 10
Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ice Queen
2. Sands Of The Hourglass
3. The Devouring Sun
4. Reflections in a Dirty Mirror
5. Moonlight and Frostbite
6. Plague Bringers
7. An Oath of Scrying Souls
8. Astral Realms
9. Skinwalker
10. Of Death and Decay
11. Tomorrow's Lie
12. Oblivion
Lineup:
Bryan Eckermann – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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