Album Review: Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury
Posted by Irmelinis
And extremely rewarding.
Release Date: April 30, 2013 on Profound Lore Records
Tracks: 9 Length: 49 minutes
Genre: Atmospheric Black/Post Metal/Industrial
Previous releases: Through The Cracks Of The Earth EP 2007, Sol EP 2008, White Tomb – debut album 2009, Tides EP 2010, Mammal 2011
Recommended for fans of: Wolves In The Throne Room, Blut Aus Nord, Fen, Deafheaven, Krallice
Description: To create an album like this, in one of the most narrow-minded and traditional-loving genres, must have been quite exciting. But I have to say, even though Altar Of Plagues have avoided many of the typical pure black metal features on ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’, they have packed way more depth, darkness and tortured pain into this one than most trve kvlt black metal releases I’ve heard.
Altar Of Plagues haven’t been around for more than seven years; they started out as a bedroom project back in 2006 and it’s pretty amazing that they have already released three EP’s, one split and three full length albums. Unfortunately the band broke up shortly after ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’ came out. But it couldn’t have ended on a better note.
First Impression: The first thing to catch my attention about this album, except for the brilliant and memorable album title and cover art, was how it seems to have this aura of beauty. Beauty completely without harmony. It feels primitive, naked and intimate; many times bordering on an intriguing erotic atmosphere. Every track is covered in an uneasy, rhythmic vibe reinforced by the electronic, industrial noise that can often be heard in the background throughout the album. Sometimes a cozy, ambient feeling washes over you, but the music never allows you to relax for too long, it quickly goes back to its forceful, disturbing intensity. It’s partly what makes it so exciting, there’s always a great tension present in the songs and a sound so rich in chaotic details that I almost have to pause and ponder what it is I’m listening to. It flows without really flowing; it’s often calm without being calming.
Songs: The whole record is very well constructed, starting out with the droning, dark distortion of ‘Mills’ with its wailing guitars and slowly pounding drums, doing its best to not reveal anything of the utter frenzy, extreme riffs and painful noises you’ll be faced with in the next track ‘God Alone’. This was also the only single + video released, continuing in the same black and white acrobatic theme as the album cover. ‘Burnt Year’ is a pulsating, fast and heavily layered tune built by tortured, inhuman vocals and primitive emotions. At the end it slows down to prepare for the entrance of the album’s masterpieces, ‘Twelve Was Ruin’ and ‘A Remedy And A Fever’. These are two of my most played songs, according to my iTunes; the first one being wonderfully hypnotic and fun with the tribal drums, repetitive guitars and explosive ending. The second one includes everything that makes this album so great. It’s bass heavy and dynamic with a haunted, sludgy atmosphere and howling vocals mixed with clean singing. I love how it rocks back and forth like waves on the ocean and how the slow melody eventually turns into a very powerful industrial pulse just to end quietly with a blend of nervous noises and tranquil tones. Thrilling. Challenging. Intense.
Recommended songs: Every single one of them.
Conclusion: It’s an exhilarating feeling when bands push boundaries and steps out of their own comfort zone like this, it shows a sense of motivation and focus that inevitably is going to be mirrored in their music. ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’ reveals great depth and passion, which makes for a complex but extremely rewarding listen.
Full Album Stream
About IrmelinisA friend told me that I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.
Posted on November 11, 2013, in Album Reviews and tagged Album Reviews, Album Streams, Altar of Plagues, atmospheric black metal, bandcamp, Black Metal, Heavy Metal, metal, Music, Music Reviews, Music Videos, post black metal, Post Metal. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.