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Altar of Plagues - Through The Cracks Of The Earth CD (album) cover

THROUGH THE CRACKS OF THE EARTH

Altar of Plagues

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.91 | 3 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Through The Cracks Of The Earth' - Altar Of Plagues (6/10)

The first official EP of the Irish black metal group Altar Of Plagues, 'Through The Cracks Of The Earth' shows the band at a less refined stage than their later productions, naturally. Despite this, the band's sound is already very identifiable, and the trademark sludgy tone of the music swings heavily here. Making good use of dynamic and unexpected elements, Altar Of Plagues makes a good first real bout here, but in comparison with their later work, the band had not yet fully developed a grasp on their style.

While there are five tracks here, there are only three technical songs; the two remainders being aesthetic supplements to the main bodies of work. After a fairly unremarkable- dare I say, boring- introduction, the band leaps into the first track, 'I Am The Offering'. Immediately, the listener is beaten down with a barrage of black metal fundamentals (blastbeats, tremolo picking) although the vocals are quite a bit growlier than the usual blackened serving. While the song flows with intention, the musicianship and performance doesn't feel quite as tight as it could be, although the ferocity is kept intact. Where the EP really shines however, is during the lighter portions of the music, where the band is allowed to build up complex instrumental arrangements. 'Cast To The Seas' shows the lighter side of Altar Of Plagues in it's best element, making excellent use of cello in a very dark interlude piece. The two final songs are much more based in an instrumental format than 'I Am The Offering', and as a result, make up the real highlight of the album.

While Altar Of Plagues would do much better for themselves with their second EP 'Sol', 'Through The Cracks Of The Earth' is quite a good dose of black metal from the Emerald Isle.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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