January 23, 2020

Well, this is a nice surprise. Plague is an old school death metal band from Athens, Greece, which has been active since 2011, with one single released as far back as 2014. Now, almost 6 years later, they are releasing their full-length debut on Valentine’s Day. This is actually a quite suitable release date, if we approach this album as a love letter to all fans of classic Death and Massacre. Ok, we already have Gruesome for this, you may rightfully think, but what we have here is not quite the same beast.

Whereas Gruesome plays exactly by the book to emulate a distinctive sound of not only a particular band (Death) but even an exact album, Plague have a more broadened approach. Portal Into Reality or Pandemic can fit into any of the first three Death albums, right, but the closing epic Mind Control brings in some eerie black metal whiff, reminiscent of something Behemoth or even Watain can come up with (just check the final two minutes).

Even with that being mentioned, though, it is classic old school death metal straight out of the Florida schoolbook we are talking here. Each solo feels like a tribute to the mighty Chuck, and several of the rhythm section transitions will most probably make Gruesome’s Matt Harvey sorry he hasn’t composed them first. These guys have lots of potential, because Portraits Of Mind is an album that can only be composed and performed by not just genre connoisseurs, but by true musicians and visionaries.

The logo and cover artwork also live up to the whole concept, so, if you are worried your Death and Massacre vinyl might wear too fast from spinning them too often, then – try Plague. You just might find your new heroes.

8/10

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