Altar of Plagues
Style: Avant Garde Black Metal
Release date: 25 April, 2011
Playing time: 51:59

To quote the introduction I got to this album in the press material, “This album explores the concept of death, questioning it’s significance and purpose”. It is a very personal album and because of that and the subject matter, especially the vocals has been done differently, the band taking time before the recording to get the “right lyrical head space and he record one entirely honest vocal take”. It is heavy stuff but Altar of Plagues manages to pull it off.

For those not too familiar with the band I would say that they play in the same style as Wolves in the Throne Room but with strong pagan side to it. If it is not clear by now, elements of Shoe Gaze are there as well as a little touch of the band Agalloch. This is not music that is easily digested and to be quite honest, out of the four long tracks that make up the album I still haven’t gotten into the third track, “When the Sun Drowns in the Ocean” either that or it is just too weird. The first track on the album, Neptune is Dead, however does deliver a quality that is on par with what they did on the very fine album “White Tomb” and on “Feather and Bone” we hear the intro on the album, with very god riffing and the drums to the fore in the production. A very strong track as well.

Even if “Mammal” is not as consistent as “White Tomb” it is clear that the band has evolved artistically and I am very eager to hear their next album because I am expecting great things from Altar of Plagues. 


1. Neptune is Dead
2. Feather and Bone
3. When the Sun Drowns in the Ocean
4. All Life Converges to Some Center


Label: Candlelight Records
Distribution: Plastic Head Music
Artwork rating: 42/100
Reviewed by: Steen Schøn
Date: 15 May, 2011