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Altar Of Plagues - White Tomb CD (album) cover


Altar Of Plagues


Experimental/Post Metal

4.08 | 50 ratings

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4 stars Black Metal to me is similar in a way to ambient music. It is about creating an atmosphere, soundscapes to allow the listener to evade his daily hassles, to detach oneself from the surroundings and immerse oneself in a "sea" of dark and depressive sounds, long riffs, shrieks, fast paced drumming and occasional interludes and shorter tracks filled with brooding effects to enhance the experience. Of course each band has their own take and creates their own variety, but there is a common basis, a shared vision that lies at the heart of this music. Altar Of Plagues from Ireland know quite well the basics of this art and builds very convincingly on them, creating a crushing, compelling and varied sort of black metal with progressive leanings.

This is not just "in your face" one chord repeated over and over with one constant rhythm music (which is good in itself for my taste); this album presents changing rhythms, multi-part songs and developing of themes that make this old-school-black-metal sounding album a gem to the fans of the genre. It is raw, yet epic in proportion, striving to be complex but not too much and at the expense of appeal, apocalyptic sounding and harsh but warms the heart while listening to it. The vocals themselves are varied: there is post-hardcore screaming as well as the more conventional shriek-like type vocals ? all fitting the music very well. All in all, the music of White Tomb depict very well what I think is the theme here, that of a crumbling Earth, due to the actions of humanity; the destruction leading this whole planet into being a big tomb for us all, animals and plants included.

There are some fabulous moments like at around 6:50 in Earth: As A Furnace, where the lead guitar plays a haunting spell-binding repetitive sound to back the heavy riffs of the rhythm guitar and bass. It then goes on to an ambient-like section where the guitar plays in the front without drums and bass, as if lamenting, creating a depressive atmosphere.

Made up of two parts (Earth and Through The Collapse), each split into two (connected) long songs, this goes on for about 50 minutes, which just seem to fly by. But as you listen to it, you realize this is in fact one long song, as they all interconnect and flow from one to another and should be heard in a single session.

An excellent varied black metal album, highly recommended.

avestin | 4/5 |


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