Plasmodium – Towers of Silence
Reviewed: May 2021
Released: 2021, Transcending Obscurity Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Where do I begin with this one?
Plasmodium is an Aussie based psychedelic/otherworldy/blackened death metal outfit that shrouds its members (mostly) in secrecy. And you’d be forgiven for immediately drawing comparisons to their fellow Aussie weirdos in Portal, as there’s more than a passing resemblance in both style and delivery (must be something in the water). But with their sophomore full length TOWERS OF SILENCE, Plasmodium has upped the ante on batshit crazy, guaranteeing that you will ask yourself at various points of the album “wtf is happening here?”
TOWERS OF SILENCE basically boils down to 48 minutes of frantic guitar noodling, cosmic noises, heavily reverbed unintelligible screams, and a nonstop barrage of percussion blasts. It’s tough to digest at times, but when Plasmodium allows itself some space in between all of the sonic ruckus, the tunes are more effective at actually reaching the listener. “Pseudocidal” and “Vertexginous” offer the best examples of these moments, nurturing an atmosphere of terror and discomfort that’s fully formed and eager to attack your senses. The 18-minute plus “Translucinophobia” offers pockets of those moments, but they’re sandwiched between the sounds of what I can only describe as aliens playing Neal Peart drum solos on a set of cheap cookware while simultaneously falling down a flight of stairs.
Maybe I’m being too harsh, because as challenging of a listen as TOWERS OF SILENCE can be, making it to the other side of the album feels quite cathartic. Almost cleansing, maybe? I’ve spent some time with the album in various settings and mindsets, and there are times where it’s been a fantastic soundtrack to whatever I was into at the moment, and there are times where I’ve questioned why I keep coming back to it. Any time art can make you think, I’d call it a win.
For anyone looking to explore this side of bizarro death metal, I’d recommend the likes of Portal or Oranssi Pazuzu first before making your way to Plasmodium – but, they should at least be on your list. TOWERS OF SILENCE will definitely resonate more with audiences who gravitate left of center on their extremity scale, but adventurous souls may get some kicks out of it as well.