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Plague Weaver - Ascendant Blasphemy

Plague Weaver
Ascendant Blasphemy
by Daphne Minks Daly at 09 March 2021, 8:41 AM

If PLAGUE WEAVER's intention for "Ascendant Blasphemy" was to produce black metal wrought with blistering ferocity, then they've definitely accomplished what they set out to do. Their debut full-length album is a phenomenal model for the level of quality that black doom metal can achieve. "Ascendant Blasphemy" is an album that's rooted in doom metal. Still, in its heart beats the blood of atmospheric, unapologetic black metal.

Multi-instrumentalist RM, who calls Ontario, Canada home, is clearly proficient in guitars, bass, and keyboards. He is also the founding member of PLAGUE WEAVER, and what started as a solo project has quickly grown into so much more. Now joined by vocalist JC, the duo has written and produced a brutal, uncompromising album that's firmly rooted in doom metal.

The band has produced something unique and exciting, which can frequently be challenging considering the genre. Black metal can often become repetitive and quickly feel heavy and boxed-in. But that isn't the case here at all. PLAGUE WEAVER's "Ascendant Blasphemy" is a solid album.

There is an unmistakable streak of black metal that runs through the band's work. Bitter, vicious, and unrelenting in every way, there is something here for every black metal sub-genre-ist. The album is entrancing with its coarse-grained approach. At just under forty minutes, the adventure is hard, fast, and well worth it.

"Nothing Is Sacred" is the first track, and it begins with an ambient trip through space just before exploding with sludgy black metal grooves. Droning guitars lead the listener toward utterly wicked, multi-layered, and ruthless vocals. Ushering the listener into the underworld, it's a tour through hell one would gladly take again and again. Laden with speed metal guitars and classic black metal vocals, the mix is an intriguing one.

The album's second song, "Lay Fire," is thick with heavy, thrash-and-thump groove stylings that quickly evolve toward the song's end.  The vocals are rageful, angst-filled, well-placed, and unexpectedly authentic, never sounding forced or phony. "Lay Fire" is a brutal black metal assault chock full of tortured screams and wails that work well within the song's groove-loaded constructs.

“Blood Runs Not, the third track, offers untamed, agonized growls, moans, wails, and shrieks intertwined with a more sedated groove-metal pace. A slow, lurching groove offers a clear nod to sludge metal without ever straying far from doom-black metal.

The introduction to "Deicidal Usurper" highlights an eery piano just before exploding with speed metal style guitar work and thrash-infused basslines. The song has a delicate ambiance interwoven with intricate nuances. Remaining consistent throughout, "Ascendant Blasphemy" is complex without ever becoming muddy. In fact, even the classic black metal elements somehow manage to create new and melodic, slow, doom drone harmonies.

Traditional heavy metal gallops and high-end rhythms remain persistent alongside multi-layered fiendish vocals that never become annoying or distracting. But instead, work together in perfect tandem. PLAGUE WEAVER should be proud of this album. With little reprieve, this album is an all-out assault of the senses from start to finish.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Nothing Is Sacred
2. Lay Fire
3. Blood Runs Not
4. Seek to Betray
5. Upheaval and Arson
6. Of Quivering Doves
7. Deicidal Usurper
8. In Exitium Caeli
Thorn aka RM - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
JC - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 October 2022

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