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Winds of Plague - The Great Stone War
A few years after the deathcore hype, a lot of bands seem to emerge that give this genre a bit of a twist. For example bands like Despised Icon and Whitechapel returning to their death metal roots, and bands like Abigail Williams and Winds of Plague merging symphonic elements into this sound.
 
The spoken word intro and outro indicate the fact that we’re dealing with a concept album right here. The Great Stone War is based on a story about an apocalyptic battle that will change the earth forever. Not the most exciting subject, but it definitely adds something special to this album. Besides the intro and outro, the album is filled with 9 epic tracks. I’m personally not a fan of keyboards in my metal, but Winds of Plague surely doesn’t overuse them on most points and are actually more pushed to the background on this album compared with their older work. The only annoying thing I find is the fact that they usually keep the keyboards going through the breakdowns, which keeps the flow out of the music. For example on ‘Chest and Horns’, which could have easily been the next ‘MVP’ (Despised Icon) when leaving out the keyboards. I’m still very curious how this will go down in a live performance!
 
Jon Cook handles all the vocals on the album, ranging from highs to lows with even a small pigscream (‘Classic Struggle’) in between sometimes, doing a great job on this part. I’d say vocal wise the band can best be compared with Despised Icon and All Shall Perish, from low death metal growls to hardcore screams. One of the highlights of the album is definitely the very decent guitar work (some epic solo work right there), but I think the drums are the weaker side of the album. The drumming does match the standards set today, but drummer Art Crutz almost performs exactly the same drumming work on each and every track, including the same use of cymbals, double kick timing, blasts and fills.
 
Overall not a bad album and I think Winds of Plague have matched the standards set today pretty easily, but just adding the “symphonic” part doesn’t make it stand out enough. Still, if you don’t mind keyboards in your metal and if you like Born of Osiris, Whitechapel and Abigail Williams you should definitely consider checking this out. And also make sure you attend one of their live performances in April, on tour with Parkway Drive, Despised Icon, The Warriors and 50 Lions!

Winds of Plague - The Great Stone War
74/1001Details Century Media
Released on Tuesday Aug 11th, 2009
Symphonic Deathcore

Writer @Brent_ on Tuesday Jan 19th, 2010

Tags: #Winds of Plague
Tracklisting 01. Earth
02. Forged In Fire
03. Soldiers Of Doomsday
04. Approach The Podium
05. Battle Scars
06. Chest And Horns
07. Creed Of Tyrants
08. Our Requiem
09. Classic Struggle
10. The Great Stone War
11. Tides Of Change
Line up Jon Cook - Vocals
Nick Eash - Guitars
Nick Piunno - Guitars
Andrew Glover - Bass
Art Cruz - Drums
Alana Potocnik - Keyboards