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Album Review: WINDS OF PLAGUE Resistance

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When trying to talk about Winds of Plague, I'm at a loss for words, as I don't feel that strongly either way. They seem to be endlessly reviled by so many people that you'd think they were the Nickelback of modern metal. I've never really understood this and always thought it was grossly unfair. In fact, I"ll bet that if you put this album on and didn't tell anyone who it was, the reaction would be significantly different than if you told those same people who it was beforehand.¬†Anyway, they have a new album out called Resistance, and it's…what you'd expect. It's a decent deathcore release with symphonic elements added in.

Honestly, they're not that different from other contemporary acts, ones which catch significantly less flack than they do. The only noticeable difference with Winds of Plague is their use of symphonic sounds, and I'm not really sure what the crime in this is. I thought Decimate the Weak was a fun, heavy, entertaining album, and they tend to put on a good show when I've seen them live. Sure, 2011's "California" was kind of stupid, but should we really dismiss the entire rest of their catalog based on one song?

If you like dual-guitar harmonies, breakdowns, and death-growls mixed in with hardcore-style vocals, you should like this album. I tend to like all these things quite a lot, so songs like "Say Hello to the Undertaker" and "Time to Reap" work rather well. One cool highlight was the guest appearance of The Acacia Strain's Vincent Bennett on "Sewer Mouth". Ok, well at least I think it was him, his super-guttural growl is pretty unmistakable. And though it's not what the band or their genre is known for, Winds of Plague actually employs the guitar solo very effectively. Nick Eash has a talent for well-placed solos that, while technically impressive, are still targeted enough for people to actually enjoy and remember.

If there's anything that stops the album short of being "great" rather than very good, it's the relative sameness and lack of any real risk taking. This is perhaps the hidden charm of "California", eye-roll inducing as it was. But as the saying goes, there's very little "broken" about the band's sound, so I can't really point to anything specific that needs fixing. To my ears, they're basically a mix of Bleeding Through, Despised Icon, and perhaps a catchier version of Carnifex. So if you like any of these bands, or are at least capable of seeing what's appealing about them, you should find at least something to like about Resistance.

That is unless you're only reading this review as a rage-read exercise to re-enforce your confirmation bias about "how much this band sucks". In that case, I'm so sorry to have disappointed you.

So yes, Resistance is a decent album. There, I said it.

It won't make any "best of 2013" lists, but it doesn't belong on any "worst of" lists either. But I'm willing to hear the rest of you out on this. If you have convincing, specific reasons why we should all hate Winds of Plague, they are wholly mysterious to me. But by all means, enlighten us below in the comments.

6.5/10

Favorite Songs: "Say Hello to the Undertaker", "Sewer Mouth", "Time to Reap"

When he's not infuriating people with his album reviews, Drew Zalucky is busy writing for his political website, For the Sake of Argument

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