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Plagued Be Thy Angel
May 2002
Released: 2002, Napalm
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Album number four from these Swedes and it shows even more progression. A fairly underground type band, Seibenburgen (meaning Transylvania) have been getting some attention since they did two things: (i) started singing in English; and (ii) embraced the very metal tradition of having a naked chick on the front of the CD. And I do mean naked! Yowza! Sex sells, I guess.

I haven’t met any Seibenburgen fans in person myself but I do imagine that black metal traditionalists and original fans may be disappointed in the direction of the band. It seems they are moving towards a more commercialized style of gothic, vampyric, black metal, which as I mentioned may annoy some purists. Newer influences have them leaning in a Cradle/Tristania type way. You have been warned.

For the rest of us, these guys kick ass! I really enjoyed Plagued Be Thy Angel. I get to hear a lot of this type of metal and I felt Seibenburgen are one of the better bands in the crowded genre. Make no mistake this is black metal, no frilly shirts shirts, no keyboards and lotsa corpse paint and spikes!

Overall the songs are very strong and that is really what caught my full attention; crushing but catchy in a perverse sort of way--very addictive songwriting. They are not an all out crushing assault like older Immortal but not all weepy like many of their contemporaries.

Lyrically the band stays with fairly vampire-like themes, dark, not inherently evil, but not fully romantic either. One of the tracks is in Swedish. The production is great! Crisp, clear, and everything in its place, so to speak. The packaging is nice as well, the band opting to go with a dirty brown look instead of their normal black. Oh yeah--it ends on a light note with a decent cover of Priest's Jawbreaker as a bonus track. Good stuff, go buy it.
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