9th Plague – Spreading the Satanic Gospel / Age of Satanic Enlightment

Reviewed: August 2004
Released: 2004, Self-released
Rating: 3.8/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen


Sweden proves once again why they are considered one f the strongest Metal producing countries in the whole world. 9th Plague, is yet another Swedish Death Metal troop on the map of US-inspired Death Metal that has obviously found Morbid Angel´s influence as the closest to their sound. Of course this is not the first time that Swedish Death Metal band manages to sound a bit like Morbid Angel (remember f. ex. DEMONICATION (THE MANIFEST) by Luciferion?), so no new stories to be told from that direction…

This 4-song effort from 9th Plague, however, proves clearly how an influential band Morbid Angel has been to many Metal-loving people all over the world. And these 5 Swedish Death Metal maniacs have obviously done their very best to sound like them I assume. So don´t expect anything original or highly innovative from these Swedes because that´s not something they offer. But instead, get your ass prepared for very well-crafted, heavy and nicely addictive Death Metal, played the good and safe Morbid Angel way. The riffs, some certain rhythms, the vocals, etc. – they all come from the Morbid Angel school of sounds and I have to say that I enjoy hearing them doing this type of stuff even if they don´t bring anything new on this killer 4-track offering. For example the 2nd track on this demo, “Revelation of My Name” has been done so much after the fashion of Morbid Angel that it should scare even Mr. Azathoth to look after his rights as far as his compositions for Morbid Angel are concerned. “Revelation of My Name” has a damn great, ultra-heavy guitar riff shredding through the whole song and I think it´s the best song that these Swedish Death Metal maestros have succeeded in doing for this release. The Morbid Angel -fans should really check this recording out, I think.
(4 out of 5)

AGE OF SATANIC ENLIGHTMENT, the band´s 2nd demo release that was just unleashed this year, is unfortunately a bit of a regression rather than progression. Actually they sound like a different band on this release as their sound isn´t infested by Morbid Angel´s instant influence any longer. This time they want to sound more like a little brother of Suffocation instead, with lots of blast beats and grinding stuff in their songs, but are unfortunately only able to convince me half way through their furiously raging Death Metallic inferno on A.O.S.E. I have to admit, I personally liked them more when they somewhat shamelessly tried to adopt as much Morbid Angel into their own sound on their debut demo, SPREADING THE SATANIC GOSPEL. Almost all traces of Morbid Angel has now been lost on this new 3-song demo, so probably they decided to not sound like them any longer while they started composing new stuff for their next effort? Well, whatever the reasons behind this have been, like I said already, I liked them better on their debut recording when they copied in quite an impressive way one of the most influential Death Metal bands ever (Morbid Angel if some of you were still wondering…).

Talking about the production a bit here, they still maintain a sound rather heavy and brutal on this new demo, but somehow they have failed to come up with a good and strong enough production for this 3-song demo that could fully support the songs from start to finish. I believe that´s why the songs suffer from sort of a lack of power and ´all-demolishing sound´ that would also convince a listener immediately without leaving his/her ears uncrushed in some state of suspiciousness.

AGE OF SATANIC ENLIGHTMENT isn´t nearly as good as the band´s debut demo, but as I also happen to know there should be a lot of fans for the guys´ Suffocation -tinged Death Metal, many of you will obviously check them out just because I mentioned Suffocation´s name in comparison to them.
(3.6 out of 5)


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Track Listing:

01. Visions of an Unknown God
02. Revelation of My Name
03. Restore the Demonic Earth
04. Temple of Belial


01. Betwixt and Between
02. Beyond the Flesh
03. The Voice of Ancient Blasphemy

Tony Richter – Vocals
Johan Lindberg – Guitar
Kristofer “-rstadius – Guitar
Rafael Andersson – Drums