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ALBUM REVIEW: Blood Of My Enemy – Winds Of Plague

Citing creative and personal differences WINDS OF PLAGUE entered a period of hiatus in 2015 but now feeling re-energised with a heavily revised lineup they are set to make their triumphant return in the form of 5th studio album Blood Of My Enemy which is due for release on 27th October via Long Branch Records / SPV Records but the main question on everyone’s lips is can this release help them reclaim their position amongst the deathcore elite or has their period of inactivity knocked them too far down the food chain for them to re-establish their dominance.

The tense, dramatic intro A New Day which transitions into a gruesome growl and recognisable orchestral undertones in the form of A Nameless Walker make it instantly evident that there are no signs of rust or decay in the WINDS OF PLAGUE camp who bombard you with savage beatdowns and chunky downtuned riffing right from the beginning. Gang chants and ferocious vocals are in abundance courtesy of the unmistakable figurehead Jonny Plague.

Kings Of Carnage displays a steady pounding beat which is reminiscent of Psychosocial whilst Jonny appropriately bellows that the deathcore outfit have returned to finish what they started with unbridled ferocity. Soul Eater on the other hand leaves little to the imagination as it collides with your ear drums in the form of a short but snappy sea of vicious blast beats and seismic riffs before fading into the signature keyboard accompaniments of From Failure Comes Clarity that displays chilling vocals from keyboardist Adrienne Cowen before delving into black metal tinged guitar work. Blood Of My Enemy shows an impressive level of diversity whilst still retaining the key elements which brought them such initial success.

As the album reaches the midway point and the title track Blood Of My EnemyWINDS OF PLAGUE reintroduce their ever present oriental themed compositions to commence proceedings before attacking your senses with pulsating drum beats and a powerful hardcore style verse riff which smoothly slides into a catchy chorus from Adrienne. You can sense the determination and vigour in Jonny‘s voice which only seems to get stronger and more demonic as the album progresses and a perfect example of this is Snakeskin which is guaranteed to get your blood pumping with its groovy shredding and a breakdown that possesses enough force to shatter your windows. In most instances gang chants can become very cliche and relatively cheesy but they are used articulately and further enhance the aggression portrayed.

Never Alone follows suit creating a dark operatic atmosphere with a side order of blast beats and a hefty chorus built for crowd participation before the spine tingling unnerving lyrical display of 5150 where Jonny’s voice oozes anger and torment in such excerpts as “something’s in my head, and it wants you dead.” Given little time to recollect your thoughts Either Way You Lose sustains the energy with its infectious symphonic tones.

Penultimate track A Walk Among The Dead shows no signs of fatigue as frantic drumming and bludgeoning guitar work provide the backbone of the arrangement leading into Dark Waters continuing the oriental vibes and chanting to great effect. The energy showcased throughout Blood Of My Enemy never waivers and just as you feel the unrelenting attack is beginning to cease as the album fades to a subtle close you are welcomed with one final guttural blast from Jonny which is utterly goosebump inducing.

Blood Of My Enemy is an unrelenting barrel of fury which gathers so much momentum as the album progresses it feels like nothing will dare to get in it’s path. WINDS OF PLAGUE have made a huge statement with this release and the hiatus seems to have worked wonders. The barbaric levels of intensity achieved throughout vastly surpass the majority of their previous releases which seemed to diminish in popularity compared to their critically acclaimed debut album. Despite Jonny stating that WINDS OF PLAGUE has become more a hobby to him as the years have elapsed there is no doubt that Blood Of My Enemy will turn a lot of heads and hopefully reignite the passion and endearment the fans held for them during the earlier stages of their career.

Rating: 8/10

Blood Of My Enemy - Winds of Plague

Blood Of My Enemy is due for release on October 27th via Long Branch Records/SPV.

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