Blasphemous: Bearer of the Darkest Plagues

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Blasphemous: Bearer of the Darkest Plagues
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Blasphemous: Bearer of the Darkest Plagues
Melodic Black Metal, Death Metal
Baars Records
2010
Release length:
Myspace
Bearer of the Darkest Plagues is the second full-length release from the Philadelphia/New Jersey based incarnation of Blasphemous. While the album may not be as grim and cold as some would expect for a band that covers the Melodic Black and Death fields, this release does wind up having some strong points that will keep the listener attentive, such as some stong musical compositions. However, this release is far from an original album, and the final product, sadly, just doesnm’t quite live up what you would expect, both with production quality, and the overall music recorded.

The best way to describe the performance on this release would be hard to sum up into simple one word explanations. Blasphemous manages to bring some entertaining Melodic Black Metal elements into the music that often work well at times, such as the progressions the band uses throughout the track “Drift Into the Depths of Suicide” between the verses and chorus sections. Of course, this song winds up having it’s faults as well as many others, but they just aren’t so bad. This song, as well as others on here like those that came before, “When the Dark Storms Surround” and “Genocide of the Kingdom”, all have these random blast beat like moments that sound great in the music, but are often random and come off like the band had a unified seizure. In “Drift Into the Depths of Suicide”, however, it shows the band’s talent nicely by doing it over a guitar solo and just amping the intensity up greatly, leaving the listener wishing the band would perform more faster material like that instead of resorting to simplified depressive riffs that cling on to a Melodic aspect for dear life.

Another complication of the band is that the songs can often be too long. Take “Entering Oblivion” for example. This song becomes rather repetitive of the slower nature of the band’s material, and as you progress it’s an enjoyable song at the start, but by the time you get near the end it just becomes monotonous as it does’t offer much but repetitive, hollow sounding music that seems to just be drawn aong. Picking out specific faults of the songs on this can take a good while, and there’s more to say, but just know that not all of the album is bad at all. “Path to Our Demuise” is a strong song that blends the Black and Death Metal styles well with a fast pace with plenty of shifts in the music to keep the listener happy, as well as one of the strongest performances by the band on this release. It does, of course, go into a slower pace for a bit, but it at least turns into a nice bridge that works well with the music and leads into a rather impressive guitar solo.

When you break everything down, Bearer of the Darkest Plagues isn’t that bad an album, for the most part just has a rough start that seems to be due to the production uality of the album, and the performance. There are many times through the release where the band’s performance almost sounds like they are bored, and it isn’t until some of the faster songs on this release kick in a little later the vocals really step up from being a low growling style that walks in between the traditional Death Metal gutteral and Black Metal rhasp, but unfortunately it doesn’t cover every song, such as “Enslave the Masters”. This track plays more as a general Black Metal song then anything with some vocals that simply ok, but could really use more help then just layering some deeper gutteral in the background. Outside that, much of the music sounds very hollow, especially when it is played slow as the bass can sometimes just disappear from the mix all together to create some kind of odd hint of melody to the music.

However, the production does have some positive things going for it. Bearer of the Darkest Plagues is not one of the worst sounding albums, though it does still have a rawer touch, but the low quality winds up just being more along the lines of a hollow sound with empty elements that could contribute more to the band at times, such as the sudden loss of bass in their songs, and it clearly being composed as part of the track and not a glitch in the recording. Had the vocals used some distortion, it would have added another level of intensity to it as well. But aside that, the music itself still manages to sound pretty deep, and the atmosphere of the release does wind up giving off a desolate feeling, but it could be taken in various ways, but being alone in a dungeon for some, and alone in the fact that you’re the only one listening to the sarcastic ones who cannot really see past the flaws. Had there been a little more attention focused on the production of this release, then there’s no denying that Blasphemous would have had a really good album with Bearer of the Darkest Plagues. However, musically and due to the production, it’s just not that fantastic a release, but does spotlight some of the stronger points of the band.

01. When the Dark Storms Surround – 5:35
02. Enslave the Masters – 5:22
03. Drift Into the Depths of Suicide – 4:47
04. Entering Oblivion – 5:06
05. Path to Our Demise – 4:40
06. Among the Wolves – 6:08
07. Raped Upon the Altar – 6:02
08. Genocide of the Kingdom – 3:43
09. Decimator of Holy Manifestations – 5:54
10. Unending Misery – 7:48
Overall Score: 4/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Baars Records.