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Plaguestorm – Purifying Fire

Purifying Fire
by Thomas Kumke at 11 June 2021, 11:18 AM

PLAGUESTORM hails from Argentina and were formed in 2014. It is a one man project by Sebastian Pastor who does everything by himself including playing the guitars, bass, synthesizer, the drum programming and the orchestral arrangements. It is a melodic Death Metal project and “Purifying Fire” is the second full-length album in addition to one EP. The album was released via German label Noble Demon which has a track record of Death, Thrash, and Heavy Metal releases. However, while PLAGUESTORM is a one man project, “Purifying Fire” was recorded with support by Swedish vocalist Mikael Sehlin (DEGRADEAD, PARALYDIUM), Pablo Roman (SOBRE TUS CENITAS) and Diego Martinez (PROTUZ) for the lead guitar solos. “Purifying Fire” has a length of about 59 minutes.

PLAGUESTORM deliver a record that is melodic Death Metal at its base but with other style elements, most notably melodic Metalcore influences. The opener reminded me straight away on any of the HEAVEN SHALL BURN classics. “Evolution Towards The Edge” has got everything, the melodeath fan could possibly ask for: it is fast and aggressive, it has sharp guitar riffing, melodic lead guitar sequences, and brutal growls. The vocals are covering the medium to high end of the gutturals. The lead guitar solo is technically comprehensive and contributes to the overall sonic theme of the song. “Evolution Towards The Edge” was released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

Back To Zero” and “Never Learn” are more epic type of songs at a measured mid-tempo pace with great melodies and harmonies and extended lead guitar solos. The vocals in “Back To Zero” are mostly growls, but with some clean parts included. The lead guitar solo here is very technical and fits perfectly to the overall theme of the song. The middle break interrupts the flow a bit with a short blast-beat section and change in rhythm. The title song starts fast with a basic melodic theme containing lots of epic components and clean vocals which do not really fit well to the song. It transitions quickly into growls as the rhythm and pace starts changing into a mid-tempo song. The structure of “Purifying Fire” is more complex, perhaps a bit too complex, since it is easy to get lost during the six minutes of playing time. “Purifying Fire” comes again as an orchestrated version at the end of the album which intensifies the melancholic components of the track.

You Against The World” is one of my highlights on “Purifying Fire”, starting with a slow instrumental part transitioning into a mid-tempo, head-banging rhythm with catchy guitar riffs and melodies. The growling vocals are outstanding and the lead guitar solos give the song something special. While “Close To Nowhere” and “Blind And Weak” are among the faster, more straight forward songs, “No Farewell” is a ballad-esque track with epic, melancholic, and solemn melodies. Mikael Sehlin delivers a perfect mix of clean and growling vocals. “Burning Paradise” is with almost 10 minutes the longest track on the album and it is a firework of all that what the album has to offer: measured instrumental parts, epic harmonies, outstanding lead guitar solos, and overarching perfectly fitting vocals.

Purifying Fire” is an album that is predominantly based on melodies, harmonies, epic and melancholic components. Overall, the album might be too much driven by melancholy, but lovers of that type of music will be delighted. The strength of PLAGUESTORM’s second album is the high quality of the guitars and vocals as well as the songwriting. PLAGUESTORM do not enter groundbreaking new territory with the sound of the album, but “Purifying Fire” surely has its moments. The album is well produced. Fans who love epic melodies, including technically outstanding lead guitars will surely did into “Purifying Fire” and the album should belong to their collection.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Evolution Towards The Edge
2. Back To Zero
3. Purifying Fire
4. Never Learn
5. You Against The World
6. Close To Nowhere
7. No Farewell
8. Blind And Weak
9. Burning Paradise
10. Purifying Fire (Orchestrated Version)
Sebastian Pastor – Guitars, Bass, Drum programming, Synth
Record Label: Noble Demon Records


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