You see, it’s like that meme you used to see that spoofed the Dos Equis adverts – ‘I don’t always listen to black metal, but when I do, so do my neighbours’… So it goes in my palatial Peckham abode. Which brings us to Finland’s Plaguebreeder.
The people at numbers nineteen and twenty three have been getting ‘up close and personal’ with the new Plaguebreeder EP for a couple of days now, and I’m sure they’re feeling all the better for it. I certainly am. How could you not feel better after being subjected to the cleansing fire of tracks such as The Root of Extinction or I Believe in Misanthropy, wherein the band mix up the death metal bark of vocalist Ardeath with some florid, Borgir-styled orchestrations and what has to be one of the best guitar tones you’ll have heard in this kinda music in quite some while?
They take it all to it’s logical conclusion on the coruscating I Believe In War, which benefits from a kitchen sink approach to production; the band throw literally everything they can at you in a hail of blastbeats, jagged orchestral fragments, disembodied choirs, serpentine lead vocals and classic black metal guitar attack; throw in some slightly out-of-time banging on the wall from next door and you have a triumph of disconcerting cacophony the likes of which I haven’t heard done so well in quite some time.
The closing track The Arrival of Fire repeats the dose in slightly less memorable fashion, but the bare facts remain that Plaguebreeder have achieved a hell of a lot within the extremely ambitious parameters they have set themselves. They’ve still got a little way to go to snare more non-com bystanders like myself in greater numbers – if indeed that’s what they even want to do – with a little melody interspersing the mayhem (as it does with the help of those disembodied choirs in the middle of The Arrival of Fire) perhaps being the key element that’s consistently missing here. But that’s a minor complaint really. Have a listen and decide for yourselves – I don’t think you’ll have any regrets if you take the plunge. Just ask my neighbours…
Annihilation is out now.