Formed by rhythm guitarist/singer Devon Smith and bassist John Hopf in 2017, Plague 9 recorded their first song Stuck in Hell for the release on the Metal United Down Under Vol 1 compilation. Since then lead guitarist David Hone has jumped on board bringing his very unique playing style and blistering speed taking the songs into a new dimension.
Since then, these Australian newcomers have been quite busy with shows and recording their debut EP, Mr. Ass. Plague 9 combine traditional NWOBHM with an 80’s thrash feel to it. At first listen, I was impressed. It is as if these guys were totally into Metallica’s …And Justice For All and decided to form a band.
The production is excellent on the debut outing. But again, to my ears it is very similar to …And Justice For All era Metallica from the drums and bass, to the scorching guitars throughout. Even the vocal delivery is in the style of Hetfield. So while lacking in originality, I still really enjoyed what they had to deliver here.
I am not sure if I want to hear future Plague 9 progress into a style more of their own or stick with the meaty traditional, thrash infused metal they put out here. While the nuances of Maiden and Metallica dominate their sound, it is a sound that they pull off damn well. A very close sound to American thrash band Disarray, in which the same comparisons were made.
Devon Smith – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
David Hone – Lead Guitar
John Hopf – Bass
Kon Tsacos – Drums