I’ve been staying away from Aussie death metal for a while on the orders of my Chiropractor, but when the boss man, tempting childcatcher-type entity that he is, waved this little blighter in front of my face, well… how much harm can one little album do?

Quite a lot, as it goes. Sydney-based infectionists The Plague would appear to be akin to the dictionary definition of the term ‘no frills’. In fact, they are so far away from the concept of frilly they make the heaviest thing you can think of appear like something from the most fevered Liberace dream; Their new album, Erosion of Gods is, in simple terms, heaviness incarnaate.

Seriously, death metal doesn’t come much better than this in late 2023, save possibly for the band’s Victorian counterparts Werewolves. The Plague come in swinging on first track Hacked and Butchered, and by the time they work themselves up into a frenzy for best track Desolate Wasteland, four ‘songs’ later, you’ll have heaved yourself behind the sofa, wet towel wrapped around the head, looking for some relief from it all.

The assault here is incessant, but it’s far from unstructured; Every beat on the utterly unhinged Rotten, Dried and Mummified, every unholy utterance from the mouth of vocalist Mike, is planned right down to the last millisecond to cause the utmost discomfort to those in the immediate vicinity. If I was a pseudo-intellectual I’d probably call the grinding, hammer-down mayhem of Roadside Burial the aural equivalent of J.G. Ballard‘s Crash, or something, but I’m not so let’s just say what’s coming out of the speakers is just downright unsettling, in the best possible way…

Occasionally they relent a little – there’s a nice cruisy part in Entrenched In Decay, for instance, that’s positively restrained by comparison to what’s going on elsewhere – but for the most part this is bass-driven filth of the very lowest order.

Just how we like it, in fact. Now, where’s that neckbrace…

Erosion of Gods releases on October 28th. You have been warned.