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Praise The Plague – The Obsidian Gate

Praise The Plague
The Obsidian Gate
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 August 2021, 9:44 AM

PRAISE THE PLAGUE is a Black Metal band with a dark and devouring Doom attitude. The five-piece from Berlin, formed in 2017, creates a depressing atmosphere on top of a heavy, sludgy wall of doom. Their latest offering, “The Obsidian Gate,” contains six tracks. “The Descent” leads off the album. It begins with deep and ominous tones…and a slow-moving riff, thick with bass guitar. Clean guitars lead to a frightening Black Metal sound. A few screams later and the track is over.

“Blackening Swarm III” is a shorter piece, opening with thick riffing and blast beat drumming. The mood is somber and speaks of revenge of the worst kind. The vocal deepen to guttural utterances, followed by blood-curdling screams. “Great Collapse” opens with spoken word…female spoken and in German. The sounds swells and then drops, to more of those thick, reverberating bass notes, and a slow crawl through enemy fire, with explosions all around you. It waxes and wanes several times throughout, varying between feelings of anger and despair. I quite enjoy the more ambient moments here. This is a very powerful song.

“The Obsidian Gate” is a brief, four-and-a-half-minute song, that begins with clean guitar tones, and a background of nefarious sounds, building slowly. Boots walk over uneven ground, or perhaps it is a man walking on the charred remains of his countrymen following an intense battle. He walks with his head held down, one step after another, covering what seems like no ground whatsoever. “Beyond” is a longer song, opening with clean guitars and a melancholy feeling. It leads to a heavy, pounding riff and deep screams that come from the depths of your being. The screams increase in intensity as the drums roll in double-time.

The opus “The Ascent” closes the album. It begins with more ominous tones, swirling in the backdrop of pulsing weight, and you can hear the violent storm coming in the distance. Closing in at the half-way mark, and the sound finally materializes. It’s an angry set of emotions, with pleading screams and thick guitars. The vocals deepen, as the harrowing sound continues. Make no mistake, the band is trying to stamp out everything that makes you feel alive…your thoughts, feelings, and senses deaden to the sounds of utter despair. It fades to nothing in the end, slowly crushing you with its weight.

Black Metal…with Doom influences? Sure, why not. The combination of the two styles is quite powerful and despondent in nature. Through six rather lengthy songs, the album portrays a bevy of various emotions, including hate, rage, despair, and ultimately, nothingness…or rather the fact that your puny existence really doesn’t matter much to the ways of the larger, seemingly infinite world around you. Though the production is overly muted for me, I really enjoyed the album, and any fans of either genre will surely find the album to their liking.

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

4 Star Rating

1. The Descent
2. Blackening Swarm II
3. Great Collapse
4. The Obsidian Gate
5. Beyond
6. The Ascent
Record Label: Lifeforce Records


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