US crossover death thrashers PLAGUE YEARS will unleash their punishing Circle Of Darkness full-length via Entertainment One (“eOne”) on 22nd May 2020.
The band have also released new single ‘Play The Victim’. Premiered via Decibel, watch the video
Comments guitarist Eric Lauder, “With this record, I wanted to carve our own lane in metal. It’s darker, heavier, faster, and everyone crushed it from the performance to the production. This song is about that narcissistic person in everyone’s life. Someone who seems incredibly loyal but is just a shell of a person filled with darkness. You show them the same loyalty, but they stab you in the back. Then when it comes time to confront them they manipulate the situation and ‘Play The Victim.’”
Adds Decibel, “Like contemporaries Power Trip, PLAGUE YEARS turn chugging into an art form, making simple stomps feel like genuine riffs. The chugs bookend a thrasher of a song, which blazes as often as much as it breaks it down. Vocalist Tim Engelhardt sounds somewhere between Max Cavalera and Jamey Jasta. The music is similarly right between the metal and hardcore worlds; you’ll almost surely be able to find either side if you’re listening for it.”
Like an icepick to the face, PLAGUE YEARS arrives with an electric surge of sudden pain. An unrelenting end of the world assault of the cataclysmic convergence of thrash and hardcore, with bits of blackened death and midtempo madness to spare, the Detroit master blasters are here to crash the crossover party. Summoning the primitive spirit of the singular moment when the heaviest of metal first smashed into a circle pit, PLAGUE YEARS reignites the flame with sharp fury.
Many in the metal press have already christened the band heir apparent to crossover standard-bearers Iron Age and D.R.I., with the speed metal bite of Kreator and the overall bludgeoning of Slowly We Rot-era Obituary. As demonstrated in dimly-lit clubs and theatres alongside bands like Creeping Death and Skeletal Remains, PLAGUE YEARS mines the subterranean depths once unearthed on classic Sepultura albums like Beneath The Remains and Arise, with the vicious bite of Germanic slabs like In The Sign Of Evil by Sodom and the Hall of Fame ‘80s output of Slayer. Fellow Great Lakes State metal maven Trevor Strnad, of The Black Dahlia Murder, named the band’s Unholy Infestation EP one of his 100 favourites of 2018, a sentiment echoed by another scribe at Metal Injection the same year.
The devilish and down-tuned death worship within PLAGUE YEARS serves as a demonic calling card for the foursome; a brutal counterbalance to their otherwise like-minded thrash revivalists. On Circle Of Darkness, the band’s full-length debut, PLAGUE YEARS reunite with engineer Arthur Rizk, whose work with Power Trip, Tomb Mold, Candy, and Cavalera Conspiracy has propelled him to the front of the horde amidst the resurgence of crossover thrash.
PLAGUE YEARS pays homage to Detroit forebearers Negative Approach and modern contemporaries Hellmouth in equal measure while infusing the proceedings with a brutal spin of their own design. In terms of lyrical aggression, songs like ‘Play The Victim’ and ‘Paradox Of Death’ blend traditional death metal blood-and-gore fantasy with the unrestrained bravado of Detroit’s grittier contributions to rap, like LOM Rambo and Motown upstart Icewear Vezzo.
There’s dungeon torture in ‘Witness Hell’ and undead armies in ‘Incantation.’ Circle Of Darkness is a brutal, putrid ode to headbanging, boot-stomping, heavy metal culture. As Revolver declared in one of the magazine’s many passionate endorsements, PLAGUE YEARS “rips hard,” a compulsive death charge right into the fiery mouth of Hades. “Just try not to bang your head. We dare you.”
1. Play The Victim
2. Witness Hell
3. Paradox Of Death
4. Eternal Fire
5. Circle Of Darkness
6. Evil One
9. World In Blood
10. Urge To Kill