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Plague Years - Unholy Infestation Award winner

Plague Years
Unholy Infestation
by Liam Easley at 08 January 2019, 12:10 PM

Like how the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the evolution of Death Metal through the massive amounts of death/thrash metal bands like NUM SKULL, SOLSTICE, INCUBUS, and CANCER, the current trend of Old School Death Metal revival is taking a similar path. New Death-Thrash fusion bands are emerging left and right under the wings of TOMB MOLD and GRUESOME, two of the leading acts in the OSDM revival.

At just under 29 minutes in length, PLAGUE YEARS’s debut album, “Unholy Infestation”, is full of thrashy grooves and power-chord and chug-driven riffs. It’s pretty much everything you’d expect from a band of this genre, but it sounds tight and heavy. While it maintains the themes of the genre, I can’t honestly say that I’ve heard a better Death/Thrash Metal album than this. PLAGUE YEARS are superb when it comes to songwriting, intertwining heavy grooves with OSDM atmospheres on “Hellborn” and implementing crushing breakdowns as seen on “Unholy Infestation”. Not to mention the insane breakdown on “Aeon of the Serpent” that has some really cool-sounding chords as well as an epic solo.

Every riff is placed where it should be, and the drums make it as groovy as possible, which is exactly what they should be doing. Of course, blast-beats are always welcome, but the riffs on this album definitely call for groove. The guitars and drums on this album are surely top notch for this genre, but when it comes to vocals, that’s where things become shoddy. The vocals are good, but they’re more of a guttural shout, and I think that this music would sound better with a vocalist that has more punch. Regardless, he still sounds good. The bass on the other hand, is something that is hard to be judged, as it is made almost inaudible by the production and overpowering guitars. It can still be heard, but only if one were to listen very closely.

This album is full of heavy grooves and almost god-tier songwriting. The riffs are some of the best modern thrash riffs to ever grace my ears. Every corner of this record is packed with surprises and unpredictable passages, both of which are things that I don’t find very often in modern Thrash Metal. The average production and vocalist are not bad enough not make this album unenjoyable, and the album is short, which I personally enjoy.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Unholy Infestation
2. Outer Darkness
3. Hellborn
4. Aeon of the Serpent
5. Taker of Life
6. Infernal Torment
Rian Staber – Bass
Mike Jurysta – Drums
Eric Lauder – Guitars
Tim Englehardt – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 27 November 2022

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