SOCIETY'S PLAGUE "CALL TO THE VOID" WILL BE RELEASED APRIL 27, 2018 VIA ECLIPSE RECORDS.
It's not every day, or ever if I'm honest, that a band reaches out to Metal Abyss and asks us to listen to their new LP before it's released to the raging masses. I put myself in the shoes of the band members, who spent countless hours and silly amounts of money to create a piece of art, and then hand said work of art off to snack food obsessed pseudo-journalists who are as apt to tear it to pieces as elevate it to "must own" status. As cool as many of us think it would be to be in a metal band, I would not be able to stomach that aspect of the music business. Clearly the guys in Society's Plague have a stronger constitution than I do. Hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, the quintet will be dropping their second full-length album, 'Call to the Void', on April 27th, via Eclipse records, and gave us first crack at it. So, is it a must-own album or a massive metal poo pile? There's only one way currently (the album's not out yet, silly) to find out. 'Call to the Void' opens on 'Ashes For Air' (Official video can be viewed below), as much a barn burner as a statement of intent for the band as they introduce every sound you're going to hear over the next 40 or so minutes: machine gun drums, potent and always intelligible screams, and synchronous twin rhythm guitars- all being bolstered by a synth that augments and accents, never drives or drowns. While a track like 'The Fall', which feels 100% radio ready, features the synth quite prominently, others like 'Broken By Design' largely reserve it for a bridge or, as is the case with 'Whispers', use it to book-end the track. Regardless, though this is unequivocally a death-tinged Metalcore record, the synth does not feel at all out of place. Ditto the effectively used clean vocals, which owe a debt of gratitude to the late Chester Bennington. Found most often in a chorus, those melodic screams exist in that magical vocal realm once occupied solely by Chester. Hearing them here was a welcome surprise, and a reminder of how far reaching his influence is. Stand-out tracks would certainly include 'Distant Waves', which features Bjorn "Speed" Strid of Soilwork on guest vocals; as well as 'Abomination', a mid-tempo annihilator that opens on a somber arpeggio before becoming Metalcore's answer to a Nightwish juggernaut. The winner without question is the album's closer, 'Rise of the Eidolon'. The track builds layer after metallic layer of tension before releasing it with an impassioned chorus of "We're no longer victims to the fear/ When the light starts to fade we'll rise". Standard issue lyrical fare for the genre to be sure, but it's delivered with such sincerity and authenticity that it will make even seasoned veterans to the genre sit up and take notice. In the end, the combination of both American and Gothenburg influences in 'Call to the Void' create a melodic metal experience that will certainly please the faithful to Society's Plague, and to the genre as a whole. Those perhaps adverse to screamed vocals would do well to give the album a play through (or 5) as the integration of not just palatable, but refreshingly familiar and purposeful clean vocals, proper shredding, dynamic synth work, and double bass drum blasts have coalesced to created a top-notch modern metal record. 'Call to the Void' is not a "must listen' album for me for review purposes, it's an album I find myself going back to again and again, enjoying each successive listen just a little bit more than the last. My guess is that your experience will be the same. Rage on! JPR