ResistanceFeatured review by: UG Team, on november 03, 2013 2 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Winds Of Plague are a deathcore group straight out of Upland, California. They first began performing music back in 2002, and in 2005 independently released their first studio effort, "A Cold Day in Hell." With original material behind them, Winds Of Plague consistently played local, small gigs in order to help spread the word about their name and their instantly recognizable sound, which more than paid off in the long run. Winds Of Plague soon caught the attention of Century Media Records, who signed the group back in 2008. For their debut album for the label, "Decimate the Weak," Winds Of Plague would go back and revisit some of the songs from their original album and re-record them in order to give them attention on a major label, including the title track and "Anthems of Apocalypse."
"Decimate the Weak" was a noticeable commercial success, debuting at number nine of the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Their second studio album, titled "The Great Stone War," surfaced the following year, which ended up spawning two singles and even landing on the Billboard Top 200. As time passed, Winds Of Plague have only become more successful, with their third and most recently released effort "Against the World" receiving widespread acclaim from music critics and reaching number 60 on the Top 200, the band's highest charting album to date.
Of course, having several successful tours alongside such names as Danzig and As I Lay Dying played a role in this steady incline of commercial popularity. Now Winds Of Plague are ready to return to the music world with their fourth overall studio effort, which shows the mercilessly heavy sounding group not even considering slowing down. "Resistance" is a collection of eleven unforgiving compositions, bolstered around solid rhythm guitar and traditionally incomprehensible lead vocals. Such songs as the album opener "Open the Gates of Hell" sound just as their titles imply; the demonic roars of lead vocalist Jonathan Cooke definitely catch your attention, and when backed by pick grinding guitar work it's definitely an interesting combination.
Do they compliment one another? Not in the least, it's almost as though rhythm guitarist Nick Piunno and Cooke are having creative differences in the studio, and are battling to see who can capture the listener's attention the most. None of the pieces within the mix work together for the sake of the song itself, and the end result is a spew of hectic instrumentation that is difficult to keep up with as an at home listener. // 6
Lyrics: Jonathan Cooke is undoubtedly a skilled lead vocalist. It takes talent to be able to go out each night for well over a decade now in his musical career, and do nothing but scream at the top of your lungs into a microphone. Unfortunately most of everything he is trying to convey ends up being lost in the lyrical execution. When you are literally just executing deep pitched roars, it's challenging to sit back and find a steady groove to fall into, let alone try and decipher exactly what Cooke is trying to say. // 5
Overall Impression: It would be safe to say that Winds Of Plague are an unorganized mess on their fourth studio effort, "Resistance." When you have a song that features a lead vocalist who does nothing but provide low pitched screaming into the microphone, a rhythm guitarist who is trying to destroy his guitar pick by playing as quickly as he can, a bass player who for the most part sits behind the curtain in the album mix, and a percussionist who sounds like a sixth grader who is going wild on the kick drum on his first day of band practice, it's a chaotic listening experience. Now, stretch that out for an entire studio album, and you have an idea of what you can expect on "Resistance." All that being said, the production quality is one of the few positive sides to this new release, but just isn't enough to save this album in the long run. // 6
cemerson2012, on november 07, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Resistance is the fifth studio release from SoCal metal six piece Winds Of Plague. The album is released by Century Media and has 10 tracks 34 minutes in total runtime. Produced by Will Putney who had previously worked with Shadows Fall and Suicide Silence, among others. "Resistance" also features a new member behind the drums in Brandon Gallindo formerly of Dead In Existence, as Art Cruz left the band due to creative differences. The album features the same fair of low guttural vocals, powerful guitar riffs and eerie keyboard arrangements they became famous for with their sophomore release "Decimate the Weak" in 2008. They don't really challenge their previous sound with this newest release, not to say it's exactly the same as their 2011 release "Against the World," but it does not bring anything to the table we haven't heard before from them.
The album starts with a very eerie instrumental piece sounding like something from symphonic black metal band that lasts about a minute before a low bass note that would rattle your speakers off the table followed by chugging, breakdown style guitars and low screams. This opening track titled "Open the Gates of Hell" was released early as a preview track to the album a month prior to its release. It's a great track to kick of the album; however the symphonic metal sound is abandoned there with it never to appear again. The next track is possibly the best on the album, "Say Hello to the Undertaker" seamlessly blends with the previous track and has some very interesting melodic guitar and piano runs that are right out of the Winds Of Plague wheelhouse. Track 3 titled "Sewer Mouth" features a guest vocal from Vince Bennent of The Acacia Strain. The overall sound of the song is really good, solid guitars, perfect drums and brutal vocals; I'll speak more to the vocals and lyrics later. "Left for Dead" and "One Foot in the Grave," and "United Through Hatred" are other notable tracks on the album. The track titled "Good Ol' Fashion Bloodbath" has a decent guitar solo and a breakdown sure to break ribs when played live. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics and style are really no different than what was featured on "Against the World." A common theme seems to be defeating your enemies, crushing naysayers and calling everyone motherf**ker; pretty run of the mill for these guys and boy does it fit well with the style of music. One track in particular that has some interesting lyrics is the aforementioned "Sewer Mouth." The lyrics are pretty straight forward until a certain point. Towards the end of the song this line is clearly audible, "I don't care who you think you know, You don't even know yourself, You spent your whole life sucking d-ck, You should be used to this." I'd expect this from Kanye, but not from Winds Of Plague. It's unintelligent 'zingers; like this that cause others to discount you as a serious musician. After hearing that line I sorta lost interest in the rest of the album for a while before I forced myself to listen again. The remaining songs like I said before are standard fare for Winds Of Plague, lots of anger and lots of motherf**kers. // 6
Overall Impression: Overall my impression of the album first time through was not a good one. Tracks 1 & 2 were solid starts, "Sewer Mouth" distracted and confused me to the point I stopped listening all together for a couple hours and then pick up where I left off. I am hesitant to say this but at this time I don't think it's as strong a production as their previous work. My conclusion could be a premature one though, because I remember feeling this same way after both "The Great Stone War" and "Against the World" were released. So I'll say that I believe they can do better for now, see how I feel in a month after I listened to it cover to cover more than 4 times in 48 hours. I do however like the majority of the songs for what they are, definitely some good music to listen to while at the gym. My least favorite part of the album besides the lyric in "Sewer Mouth" is the fact that I don't feel like they progressed musically at all since their previous release. I don't want to be the guy who says "Make that one album over again, that one ruled," but the sweeping arpeggios featured on "Decimate the Weak" are what drew me to their music. Those aspects are all but gone on their recent releases. I would buy it again if I had to, I'd hate to miss the chance to grow to love it over time. // 6