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Outstanding! - 93%

criscool623, February 13th, 2020

In spite that it is my favourite subgenre, I acknowledge that I don't like every single thrash metal band that I find, so I'm not a fanboy, but I must say that each time there is more and more generic and crude thrash bands, and although there are some bands that are worthy of being listened, they are also 8 bad bands of 10.

I found out Strikeback in my Spotify recommendations, and yes, it was thrash metal, but due to my previous disappointments, I really was looking forward to listening to another forgettable album, but I must confess that I was wrong. "The Plague", by some inexplicable reason, felt like a fresh air blow, and since the first listening, I really was hooked with them.

To start appropriately with this review, Strikeback is a very interesting band. Despite having much of the already "classic" and typical thrash metal sound (talking specifically about the guitar distortion and the production), "The Plague" feels different, mainly because of the style and the resources that the guitar players use in their music; dissonant chords, riffs made with artificial harmonics, plenty of melody and in general, technique riffs and original ideas that, as a whole, constructs music full of identity and attitude. Even there are some timid progressive parts; they may not be very prominent, but they are present and fit well within the album. In general, I think that the songwriting of the songs is a true success, and that is what I love most of this album.

Strikeback has very talented musicians. This can be seen in the solos, in the drums execution (I really like when a band has a truly talented drummer and adds his own fills in the songs) and the bass guitar. However, I'd like to talk about Liber; I like his work, and I think he is a good singer, despite not being that exceptional. The fun thing is that I find his voice as a combination of James Hetfield and Phil Anselmo's voices. I don't know, maybe this is something merely personal, but I wanted to comment on it, and if you like Pantera, now you have another reason to listen to this album.

The songs are really good and some of them are perfect to add to your personal thrash metal playlist. I stand out Until Dawn and I consider it the best song of the album; the initial solo followed by a combination of headbang-provoker riffs and melodic interludes make it memorable and one of the best songs of the band instantaneously. The thing doesn't finish there. Although maybe the first half is the most melodious part of the album, The Plague is a great collection of tracks that feels fresh and you may happen to love since the first listening. In addition, the duration of the album is pretty short, which helps the album not to lose consistency at any moment. If I had to mention a negative aspect of the album, I would say that I got bored pretty fast of Beyond the Pale, but maybe this is because that is one of the first songs that I listened to from the album, so I think this aspect won't wreak your experience listening to this album.

The Plague is an excellent album. Outstanding for its style, the riffs, the songs and the musicians behind the writing of the music. You may think that the sound is not very original, or you may think that I'm overrating another not-so-special thrash metal album, but I consider it outstanding because this album gave me back the hopes of finding good thrash metal releases in a close future, and I recommend it if you like the new wave thrash metal scene, or if you are merely a thrash metal fan. I started this review with the intention of giving a minor rating to the album, but god! While doing that, I really realised of how much I enjoyed it.