Sunday Soundcheck: Set 010

10 min read

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arctoa's avatar
This week...

Altar of Plagues

Mammal - 2011

Tides - 2010

Origin Point:
Republic of Ireland

Sounds Like:
Atmospheric Black Metal, Post Metal, Blackgaze, Industrial, Ambient, Post Rock

An immediate disclaimer: there are harsh vocals aplenty here, so if that's not at all your cup of tea I suggest you give this one a miss. However, if you enjoy that vocal style or are willing to persevere or experiment with it, this is an aural treat for you.

Altar of Plagues hail from Ireland, and like similar bands from the area they incorporate a slow, crushing and hypnotic aesthetic to their doom-influenced brand of metal. In this case, they borrow heavily from the burgeoning post-metal and blackgaze genres to produce a cold and haunting sound: their drone-inspired climax of each track is up there with the best I have heard in the genre.

For those who need a grounding with established acts, think Katatonia's Brave Murder Day cut with an ISIS-esque pattern towards crescendos, all bathed in a black-metal dissonance. For those who require an immediate introduction to their sound, skip to 08:10 of All Life Converges to Some Centre - the second track from Mammal - and listen to the end. Then listen again. The track in its entirety is my personal favourite from their discography; it has a cold sense of isolation and a majestic aura of melancholy and loss, and is their most varied composition from an aural perspective.

Now, I know the discussion of music can be an emotionally charged subject for some people, but I'm not claiming that anything is better than anything else. This is no more than a soap-box for me to promote music that I enjoy; maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. That's fine.

If you've any recommendations based on this artist, or wish to promote some music that you yourself enjoy, please do so in the comments. Maybe I'll end up enjoying something enough to feature it myself.

© 2013 - 2023 arctoa
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Myrddhin's avatar
Some parts really do remind me of Katatonia/ October Tide.

This is a nice find.

Thank you for sharing