Sound — 9
With so many mediocre half death metal, half hardcore bands flying around in today's music scene, it's always nice to find a new band that actually shows some promise and is willing to do more than constant breakdown after breakdown. A Plea for Purging, a progressive metalcore band from Tennessee, gives us an impressive show of what they can do on their first album, "A Critique Of Mind And Thought." The thing that separates this band from many is the near constant melodies the dueling guitars play, in a similar way to Protest the Hero. Actually, imagining a more metal Protest the Hero with insanely brutal vocals isn't really a bad comparison to this band, as they demonstrate on the track "While the Sparrow Sleeps." Another good thing separating them from the metalcore genre are the excellent solos all throughout the album. Fans of progressive guitar leads will love this album.
Lyrics — 9
This is obviously a Christian band, with song titles such as "Son of Vipers, How Will You Save Yourself From the Judgment of Hell?," and "A Hymn of Praise." Some may find the lyrics overtly religious, such as "I will extol you my God/O King I will bless your name/With the reason of everyday/I will praise your name forever." I personally enjoy these lyrics, and the way the positive messages work with the metal guitar work. While his vocal style may get a bit monotonous after a bit, the complexity of the music makes up for it. The band also has group chants, and in one of my favorite songs "Everything and Nothing," they have an entire choir singing.
Overall Impression — 8
I'll get it out of the way now. The one thing I hate about this album is the production overall. While the excellent lead lines are good, the production sometimes makes them sound high pitched and whiny. The drums could be a cheap drum machine for all I know. The band sometimes simply sounds weak. But one thing I love about this album is that they keep you listening, and are capable of quieter moments (such as the unexpected acoustic passage in "Death Has Been Swallowed Up In Victory" and the epic choir in "Everything And Nothing"). I think my favorite songs on here are While the Sparrow Sleeps, The Resurrection of the Beast, Death Has Been Swallowed Up In Victory, and Everything and Nothing. If the album were stolen, I would probably download it. The band's impressive first effort is good, but nothing completely amazing. I'm looking forward to future releases.