After thirty years, Plague Bearer releases its first full-length album, Summoning Apocalyptic Devastation.
Plague Bearer started out in Seattle in 1992. They released a couple of demos before changing their name to Drawn and Quartered in 1994. But there was always something about that original formulation that the founders could not let go of. As the story goes, “guitarist K. S. Kuciemba was determined to keep the Satanic flame alive, slowly amassing simpler, eviler blackened riffs with partner H and putting out a demo in 2001 and [an] EP in 2006 with Nuclear Winter Records. In 2017, K and H reunited with longtime ally T on drums, along with vocalist Nihilist…” So, Plague Bearer is a side project of the principals from Drawn and Quartered, but it is more than that, given the long history. After all this time, the musicians have decided a long-player is in order, so we have Summoning Apocalyptic Devastation.
The opening song is “Unholy Black Satanic War Metal.” What a title, huh. It sounds brutal. It sounds aggressive. It sounds chaotic. The actual song is all of these things, turned up past ten. It is a rampage, with a “Gates Of Babylon” feel to it from time to time, but colored by a darker brush. The title track follows, and it has a slower cook at the jump. The blast beats do come, and the growling, curdling vocals. With recklessness at its center, the black embrace of this music cannot be shaken. “Defiled By Sodomy” alternates between gatling gun and pile driver in its rhythms. Impossibly, there is also a groove thread. That is a characteristic of this music that other music does not have – the ability to take buzzsaw constructions and play them over and around a catchy execution. If you listen to this one with your head held just right, the vocal melody is almost a shanty. Amazing.
There is a lot more to admire on this record. Spend some extra time with “Decapitated Angels” and “Churches Are In Flames” to appreciate their depth and impulsive verisimilitude. The closer is “Christbane” and it is a banger. I love this track. This album rips and roars and kicks in your doors. Highly recommended.
Summoning Apocalyptic Devastation is widely available on Friday, March 3rd through Nameless Grave Records. Look over the label’s website and Bandcamp to see the available formats and variants at the links below.
Nameless Grave Records, https://www.namelessgraverecords.com/
© Wayne Edwards