Attention to detail can be the Achilles heel for up and comers. And particularly so in metal where there’s quite possibly a million sounds racing by at the speed of light. Not only that but if a riff or fill can be thought of, more than likely it’s been done which makes it an even steeper hill to climb. Ontario’s Plague Weaver take all this under consideration and in stride on their second EP Through the Sulphur Eyes. Blackened doom (uh-oh, there’s that term) is the obvious tag, and here it makes complete sense, but on the other hand is a severe limiter for just how much heat and weight they pack into this effort.
The band’s self-titled debut two track EP was good, no doubt. But, it was incredibly short and didn’t give them much of a chance to spread their evil wings. “Condemned to Worship” meandered between repetitive doom and bubbly black metal and “YHWH” cut straight to the point with a hefty ‘all in but the kitchen sink’ approach. Again, good, but above all, what those two songs did was showcase how adept Plague Weaver are at establishing a crushing atmosphere that is nearly louder than the songs themselves.
Not quite a year later and a lot has changed. The title track is foreboding, thick, and downright nasty. “The Traveller” cuts deep with its bombastic vocals and lightning trem work but it’s the atmosphere behind it all that really shines. And, closer “Alchemy” puts it all together in one big package of sickening doom. It’s the sound of never ending torment that latches onto the frontal cortex like a flesh eating bacteria. However calamitous these sounds are, they’re incredibly appealing and wholly immersive to those of us who enjoy thunderous walls of sound.
I mentioned a lot has changed in the Plague Weaver camp and nearly every aspect of what this band does is better. Their black metal is terrifying, their doom metal reaches epic status, and their trademark atmosphere is off the charts this time out. Imperial Triumphant and White Ward both did a good job of channeling the ugliness of a city landscape through truly nauseating music and in that same vein Plague Weaver do a fantastic job of channeling dark themes through their own brand of nauseating music.
Again, breaking through to listeners in 2020 is a seriously steep hill to climb and bands have to either push the envelope, do something that can’t be found elsewhere, or just amaze and electrify with each release to grab attention and stay relevant. Plague Weaver do all that on Through the Sulphur Eyes and it’s up to you to show them how good a job they’ve done. What I’m saying is, go buy it. Now.