Sorrow Plagues

Homecoming

Written by: MAK on 29/05/2017 01:41:34

Sorrow Plagues started out as a solo project by Worthing, United Kingdom-based musician David Lovejoy and he has just released his second album, “Homecoming”. The record ventures into new territory with added elements of post-rock and even some contemporary influences, whilst still maintaining the atmospheric black metal sound that Sorrow Plagues is known for. Until recently, Lovejoy had never played a live performance as Sorrow Plagues, despite starting the project already in the summer of 2014. He has since gathered some like-minded musicians to fully showcase Sorrow Plagues in a live environment, where they recently played an album launch show for “Homecoming” at Bar 42 in Lovejoy’s hometown.

The album starts off with some plucky melodies reminiscent to “F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X” by The Fall Of Troy. The melodies are soothing, yet create an ominous atmosphere and a strong wall of sound where Lovejoy’s distorted, yet subtle screams lie in the background of pleasant guitar licks. This formula remains the defining factor of the entire album and what changes is the tempo and mood throughout. For example, the opener is quite sombre and very slow towards the end, but then the 10-minute monster that is “Disillusioned” is quite uplifting and intense, as underneath the beautiful guitar work is an onslaught of blast beats and erratic rhythms. It’s mostly an instrumental album, with the vocals often heard as an extra instrument more than a form of lyricism. They are so subtle and never overstay their welcome.

A standout track for me is “Isolated”. It picks up where “Disillusioned” leaves off, wave after wave of continuous rhythms, atmospherics and steady beat rolling in before the rather bouncy guitar hooks enter. Instantly, this reminds me of the instrumental tracks by August Burns Red (like “Meridian”), exposing an impressive array of soothing melodies. This is the real stand out characteristic of the album though: the guitars are what grabs your attention, ,with the plucking and the shredding styles in harmony. It’s all rather epic and enchanting, especially on “Irreversible”. The only other real ear-pricker is when the title track pulls out the surprise usage of a saxophone. The unique choice to use a brass instrument with a metal track is bold, but it works sublimely and only adds to the epic nature of the track.

While Lovejoy claims Sorrow Plagues and his influences lie within the realm of black metal, it’s not where I’d place “Homecoming”; the album is almost too beautiful to exist in a sub-genre normally considered to be incredibly dark. It’s not a release I can imagine myself listening to regularly; rather, it’s an album you want to stick on and drift off with. The only downfall is that I think the tracks are rather long and drag out a fair bit. Sometimes it works to have long songs if you have enough variety to keep the listener engaged, but while most of “Homecoming” is a pleasant listen, there is a lot of unnecessary repetition on each track. Even so, however, I cannot ignore how impressive the musicianship really is.

7

Download: Isolated, Departure
For the fans of: Deafheaven, Alcest
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.05.2017
Self-released

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