Reviewed: May 2021
Released: 2021, Bitter Loss Records
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
It is something of a cliché for a band of any genre to call themselves “old school”, particularly if the said genre has a wide, versatile and eclectic or experimental canon of practitioners like death metal. However, to find a band that actually sounds like they were there at the very frontline of the genre in its earliest of days is more than heartwarming for a keen death metal fan.
Australian band The Plague fall into this perfectly, with their debut release Within Death taking the listener all the way back to the thrashy roots of the genre and adding in excellent, precision musicianship with contemporary production to give you one hell of a trip down memory lane and into the realms of horrific, blood-drenched fantasy the band has conjured in its songs.
From the very beginning of the opening track “Mind Eraser”, these blokes from Sydney are drilling blast beats into your cranium like the Mole Machine from Thunderbirds, accompanied by some proper old school guitar solos that are reminiscent of classic metal and NWOBHM. We have a band who know their music inside-out, so there will be no punches pulled by The Plague, both on this release and on what they have next in their musical arsenal.
Scandinavian death metal fans will definitely dig these ten tracks as I was reminded a lot of Dismember, Entombed and Unleashed more than once, as well as the US classics like Deicide and Possessed. Within Death is the smack in the face the death metal genre needs to rekindle its old school vibes in a time when the genre is dominated by technical and slam bands.
Give these Aussies a try if you want old and fresh putrefaction put to music, for they will not disappoint veteran fans or youngbloods.