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Altar Of Plagues - Teethed Glory And Injury CD (album) cover


Altar Of Plagues


Experimental/Post Metal

3.99 | 64 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Teethed Glory & Injury is a breathtakingly eerie and nothing less than revolutionary take on extreme music.

Altar of Plagues, one of the pioneers of the 'post-black metal' movement, has again refused to stay in one place for more than an instant. In what seems to be the antithesis of recent albums such as Deafheaven's 'Sunbather', whose wholly sterile and unexciting take on a seemingly interesting concept (of writing optimistic, inspiring black metal) has swept the underground music community by storm- Altar of Plagues strive to remain utterly unique and succeed in flipping the bird to many a black metal band these days, bands who present to us long winded compositions that slowly putter up and down (nothing I'm against by the way). AoP decide to mix it up a little- combining touches of post-rock with electronic elements with powerful, guttural black metal, and packing them into songs that are usually at the 5 minute mark, AoP have managed to package bursts of absolute brutal, honest, and mesmerizing ecstasy. It's the same kind of in-your-face property I would associate with favorite bands such as Cardiacs (not by sound at all as much as in concept), the type of grittiness that makes your skin crawl with wonder and curiosity.

From the first seconds of the first track 'Mills', you can sense a tension that can tear you apart at the seams. The slow build-up of this song is so edgy and beautiful, that once the explosion of 'God Alone' starts you end up both awed and utterly baffled. The dissonant guitars and rolling drums unleash into an absolute terror onset of manically guttural growls, howls and croons that are some of the best I have heard in the extreme metal genre. Vocals delivered with such rawness and yet strange clarity and unwavering confidence that you can't help be shaken to your core. It is in the next song when Dave Condon howls 'I've watched my son dieeeeeeeee'- a line you might roll your eyes at when reading it in this modest internet review but a line howled so intensely in the album you want to close yourself off in a dark corner and never really talk to any solid matter ever again.

The album continues to weave in and out of fascinating and beautiful ambient like sections and into these epic instrumentals. The oriental sounding 'Twelve Was Ruin' starts with a strange sizzle sound coming in and out constantly- a genius touch that fills the space of the song with a completely different density. The song then ponders on a beautiful Middle Eastern sounding riff which escalates eventually into an epic blast-beat crescendo. Songs such as 'Scald Scar of Water' have opening riffs so nasty and tense they suck you in almost in the same sense as when you can't stop staring at roadkill (only in an entirely enjoyable way I promise). The closing 'Reflection Pulse Remains' is a beautiful instrumental achievement with an off-kilter opening guitar melody which soars into a twin guitar melody tremolo-picked so tastefully that the guitars meld together into some strange dreamy soundscape, closing the album on such a satisfactory high-note you can't wait to play the whole damn thing over again just to hear those last moments all over again.

It is sad to say that this is AoP's last album, for now at least. The band split in June 2013 and for now it seems has called it quits at the absolute peak. 'Teethed Glory & Injury' is an album for the extreme metal ages- a sick celebration of the extreme. But just as its absolute ingenious cover radiates- the extremities are dealt with such confidence, brutal honesty, and a strange sense of wonder and inexplicable ecstasy that the extreme starts sounding very very logical. One of the pinnacles of the genre- helping the genre itself become one of the most innovative and impressive spectacles we have today.

frippism | 5/5 |


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