10 Apr 2017

Plaguewielder: "Plaguewielder"

Varying depth and an unruly substance, Luxembourg's young ones are a strange lot
Formed in 2012 by Maxime Weber and Nicholas O'Connell, Plaguewielder is one of few bands hailing from the small European country of Luxembourg. Though they later signed with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, it all started with this ambitious EP from 2013, which offers crushing guitars and surprisingly varied drumming.

Plaguewielder are well acquainted with the sound of doom, as the style wrenched from this EP is as heavy as it is sharp. Their take on the doom metal genre is, however, a much for atmospheric one than most bands. They cast light on how to alleviate such insufficiencies such as boring soundscapes with the tasteful addition of keyboards, organs and choirs, with the band's keyboardist utilising his instrument to its fullest.

"Plaguewielder isn't merely a metal band."

Lurking somewhere in the background of the mix throughout these three lengthy compositions are the painfully whispered vocal screams, while the usual heavy metal mainstays - drums and guitar - take the helm. However, Plaguewielder isn't merely a metal band. Though heavy metal makes up the core of their musical endeavour, their compositions swirl idly around post rock elements.

As hinted, the group makes great use of eerie synths for atmosphere and filler. With tedious melodies and meandering riffs often going for long stretches, these three tracks in some cases end up being uninteresting to listen to. The Plaguewielder EP, as such, comes off as a bit ambivalent. One minute we're enjoying some churning guitars, the next we're swept away by thinly veiled synths before being sucked into a maelstrom of bland guitars chiming a bland melody.

It's hard to accept compositional progression as an excuse, even if this is key with tracks of such extreme length. But what the opening track, Drowning, lacks in focus, the remaining tracks in Casket of Dying Flesh and The Funeral March make up for in drive, passion and zeal with pumping keyboards and catchy melodies.

The EP is a lengthy affair, and sometimes needlessly so. At times it serves best merely as background noise, but once in a while it will take a step forward and force its way into your consciousness. These moments are a bit far between, and realistically this is what will separate them from the bands of tomorrow. More force, less tip-toeing around.


Released in 2013 independently


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