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Is the band a fraud? Is this release a fraud? - 60%

oneyoudontknow, March 15th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Independent

It is a scene from Dante that can seen on the cover of the release. A quick search reveals that it deals with "Inferno 18" and this part of the Divina Comedia would be the first canto devoted to the eighth circle of Hell, the circle of fraud. A realm of “evil ditches” or “evil trenches” as can be examined on the cover artwork. It is hardly a pleasant place, but what else would you expect in terms of Hell? Those speculations of an excessive barbecue are generally expressed only by a minority.

A question arises of course, how do lyrics and music go hand in hand? Is there some kind of common thread? What can be found in the texts is not so much a depiction of the travel through the various circles of Hell, but rather about the suffering of those poor souls that have to endure the torment there. They are not too far from what a depressive black metal band might "scream about", but the perspective might be different, then.

As of writing these lines, the genre associated with the German band Praise The Plague would be Blackened Doom/Sludge Metal and this is what you get. The music is darker compared with other sludge metal bands, but the characteristics are still there. The vocals -- screams and growls -- and the style of the riffs, the tendency to add bursts is something not uncommon for bands of this genre. Some nice lead-guitar elements make an appearance and the tremolo picking adds a nice counterpoint to the overall sinister sound of the music. The production is good, the song-writing is also by no means bad and differs between those two tracks. While the opener has a larger emphasis on the lead-guitar and a certain loftiness, the second is much more intense and being pushed forward by the rhythm guitar.

A solid release with some nice moments. Whether this band still exists once Covid-19 is "over", if there will ever be such a thing in the near future, remains to be seen; yes, I could not resist the temptation.

What is a bit confusing is that the band would pick this particular circle of Dante's Divina Comedia. Why the circle of fraud?

Source of the explanation of Dante's writing:
(direct quotes in italic)
https://digitaldante.columbia.edu/dante/divine-comedy/inferno/inferno-18/