Sound — 6
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.
Lyrics — 5
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.
Overall Impression — 6
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.