Altar of Plagues

Teethed Glory and Injury

Written by: EW on 20/05/2013 22:45:45

"Teethed Glory and Injury", the third LP from Irish pack Altar of Plagues, continues the journey begun on "White Tomb" from a Wolves in the Throne Room-influenced dissonant black metal act with significant droning influences, through "Mammal" where the balance was tilting more towards the latter to a release where now the pendulum is leaning more strongly in favour of the decaying, urban, droning post-metal/noise vibe that gives their listening a sinister, uncomfortable vibe. This uneasy and intransigent journey, comprised of unexpected and jagged twists perceptibly designed to throw the listener off-course, is nothing if not courageous - the lengthy, cyclical compositions of old have been replaced by more normal length tracks with increased maturity, but, as typified by some of the odd-timed percussion sounds, it has hardly been done in the name of increased accessibility.

Sensing that there is no time quite like now to shed any semblance of adherence to a scene, "Teethed Glory..." - an intriguing title and album cover in its own right - is an enveloping and heavily textured listen which does not give away its myriad of secrets easily. Take "Twelve Was Ruin" - a 9-minute piece in the middle of the album that slowly proceeds through droning feedback for half its time before the depth is disturbed with a cacophony of riffs and rolling drums to herald an entirely new outlook on discordant black metal. These dichotomies between dark and light, droning waves and aggressive releases, deep transcendence and punctured spite are what "Teethed Glory and Injury" is all about.

"A Remedy And A Fever", "God Alone" "Found Oval and Final" all follow templates of approximate correlation in celebration of a production that allows for distinct clarity of riffs without sacrificing any of the unsettling depth that is the dominant aspect of the album. "Burnt Year", as one of the faster tracks on the album marries a fiery blast with a deep pounding in the background and a range of hysterical vocal styles, highlighted by way of informing the challenge that this record can be.

It has taken greater time and number of listens for the heart of Altar of Plagues third album to hove into view and I have no doubt this task will be too much for many - I myself still hanker for the rougher bleakness of an "Earth - As A Womb" from "White Tomb" at times when the meandering patterns lead the mind to drift elsewhere - but the merit of Altar of Plagues work here cannot be denied. Taking a listen through the band's discography displays why "Teethed Glory and Injury" could not have come before "White Tomb" or "Mammal" - this takes the building blocks from both and counters with a more crazed development of an already unique theme. Although I cannot profess to appreciate it quite the same I stand in awe of Altar of Plagues’ ability to have developed in such a fascinating fashion.


Download: Burnt Year, Twelve Was Ruin, Found Oval And Final
For The Fans Of: Blut Aus Nord, Wolves in the Throne Room, Cult of Luna
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 30.04.2013
Profound Lore Records

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