California outfit Winds of Plague released their 4th full-length album last year. I've never listened to them before this, and I was curious what exactly a "symphonic deathcore/ blackened death metal" band would sound like, so I decided to give them a try. I doubt I ever will again after being treated to this thing.
Where to start, where to start? This album is basically a total train wreck, but I've got to talk about something first, so let's do vocals. The vocal work on this record shifts back and forth between two basic styles: deathcore shouts and rapping. Neither are executed particularly well, but the shouting is at least generally tolerable. The rap end of things, though, prompts me to ask if the world really needs another Limp Bizkit. Of course that question is rhetorical, but there it is. Generally all the vocals fall into that angry jock "look how tough I am" vein that is presumably meant to seem macho or intimidating or something, but which most of us can agree is really just annoying.
Moving on to to the rest of the music doesn't improve things much. A pretty basic angry frat-boy formula is followed throughout. Occasional electronic club effects break in amidst the chugging power chords, and there are more than too many mosh-ready breakdowns scattered throughout each track. One slight point of musical peculiarity is the inclusion of keyboards, but that too is really just part of the same formula. You see, what they've got is that hot chick on the keyboards who really just plinks around a little bit while she looks sexy for the fans. Not that she's much worse of a musician than the rest of the band. The only real value any of the music here might serve is if someone were in the midst of some hardcore 'roid raging and they needed a soundtrack to smash their apartment by.
I try not to take shots at the people who listen to crap like this, because I don't believe in judging people based on their musical tastes. After all, I figure having bad taste is punishment enough. Spending a little time reading through the YouTube comments for the appallingly bad track "California" has, however, convinced me that this band has many followers who are as big of douchbags as the group themselves appear to be. Oh, and speaking of douchbaggery, did I mention that Metal Archives lists "straight edge" as one of their main lyrical themes? Yeah. That's not strictly important to the music itself, but it certainly doesn't help, either.
This is crap and it has no redeeming qualities. I would rather sit and listen to a couple of dogs bark at each other for 38 minutes.