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Plaguewielder – Covenant Death

Covenant Death
by Thomas Kumke at 25 April 2021, 6:08 PM

PLAGUEWIELDER hailing from Ohio, US were formed in 2015. They are a blackened Sludge Metal band. So far, they released two full-length albums in 2015 and 2018 as well as one EP in 2019. “Covenant Death” was released via Disorder Recordings from Chicago, US which has in particular Death Metal and atmospheric Black Metal bands among their roster. There is no video release from the new album yet. “Covenant Death” has a length of 37 minutes.

Covenant Death” is a very dark and atmospheric album including the typical sludge elements like abrupt tempo changes, distortions, but also with a good portion of modern Black Metal and Doom Metal elements. It all starts with the two longest tracks, “To Dance With Wolves” and “At Night They Roam”. The opener starts with a gloomy guitar intro before it transitions into a mid-tempo song with a melodic base rhythm that is constantly interrupted by sections played blisteringly fast. The guitar riffing provides a dark atmosphere throughout. The vocals are predominantly at the medium end of the vocal range with frequent shouts and screams. The tempo changes come typically very abrupt. “To Dance With Wolves” concludes with an extended melodic and atmospheric lead guitar solo during the final high-speed part of the song. “At Night They Roam” follows the same textures but with more emphasis on an atmospheric blackened sound. The vocals of Bryce Seditz do not always fit to the atmospheric layering and act as a counterpoint at times.

A Death That Knows No End” is more straightforward with more aggressive, but catchy guitar riffing and lead guitar sequences, a simple song structure with almost no melancholic elements and a lot of Hardcore Punk vibes. In “One With The Shadows”, PLAGUEWIELDER go back to the atmospheric blackened approach. The atmospheric layering is here second to none with a great portion of darkness, melancholy, but also a lot of anger and brutality. The vocals fit here nicely to the sound and the double-bass and blast-beat sections driving the song forward. The changes in tempo are slightly less abrupt and the final part of the song has some great catchy rhythms and melodies.

The title song is a relatively short instrumental and allows to take breather, before the album goes into the final third. “Black Mysticism” is one of the highlights on “Covenant Death” with its driving and aggressive rhythm while the doom-laden atmosphere is maintained. The track is played entirely at mid-tempo and, at least from a sound perspective, a great modern Black Metal song and at its best during the instrumental parts. The final song “Forever We Shall Be” is another mid-tempo song and clearly the most melancholic track on the album. The vocals fit here very well into the overall atmosphere and especially the screams near the end offer a great contribution.

PLAGUEWIELDER deliver a good third album which is inspired by a lot of style elements. At times there are too many switches in style which was a bit confusing to listen to. The vocals do not always fit to the sound which gives the album some kind of uniqueness. The atmospheric Black Metal vibes are one of the highlights on “Covenant Death”. The production of the album could have been better, occasionally it was difficult to recognize the instruments or the vocals. In summary, “Covenant Death” will have its good share of fans and those who love atmospheric blackened sound will have their joy on the album.

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

3 Star Rating

1. To Dance With Wolves
2. At Night They Roam
3. A Death That Knows No End
4. One With The Shadows
5. Covenant Death
7. Black Mysticism
8. Forever We Shall Be
Bryce Seditz – Vocals, Guitars
Tim Roberts – Drums
Record Label: Disorder Recordings


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