Sunday, February 26, 2012

Winds of Plague - Against the World

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.

Grade: F
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.


  1. Wow. I'm surprised you picked this one up. For me, vague references to them being like a present-day Limp Bizkit were enough to warn me away.

  2. Haha! Well, I have to be honest: I pretty much expected to hate this, but a little part of me just wanted to show that I was willing to give a strongly negative review. I hadn't given a grade below a C- yet, after all.

  3. I guess I already get stuff I end up either getting bored with or absolutely hating, and that was even before I started receiving promos. I didn't need to seek out something to hate.

  4. That makes sense, and I imagine the pile of promo material just adds to it. Every single album I review I have to go out and find on my own, though, and frequently I'll check out a song or two on YouTube before I even bother looking for the whole album. Thus, as I explained in my "Reviews and Corrections" thread, most of the material I cover has to interest me before I ever get to the point of reviewing it.

  5. If you're interested in getting a promo, I wrote the following over at Metallattorney: "Speaking of promo overload, I have another idea. Instead of joining my blog as a team member, would either of you be interested in being forwarded a promo? That way, you could write a review or other article for my blog without the commitment of switching blogs. I would ask you if you were interested in a particular album, and if you are, I'd send you the download link instead of downloading it myself. You'd have to send me a review to be used on my blog, and I'd want you to assign it a score using my 5 point scale, but you could post it on your own blog as well. You would get a free promo, and I would link you at the beginning of the post to identify it as a different author. I don't have any waiting in the wings just yet, but the next time someone contacts me, I could ask one of you before getting it myself."

    So, just send me an e-mail if you'd be interested, and I'll give you dibs on the next e-promo I get in my inbox.

    1. I'd like to give that a try. I sent an email to the address you have listed on your blog. I use Hotmail, so you may have to check your junk mail folder.