Winds of Plague – Blood of My Enemy (eOne)Tuesday, 17th October 2017
Seemingly against the odds, Winds of Plague have managed to persevere for over 10 years at this point, with their blend of symphonic elements, metalcore chugs, and deathly influences. But it was not without some hardships. The band lost most of its line-up following 2013’s Resistance, leaving vocalist Johnny Plague and drummer Art Cruz to enlist four new members. As one could assume, there’s some changes to the Winds of Plague sound, but they all seem to point in the direction of better.
With two new guitarists, things still have some of the usual Winds of Plague flair (complete with some breakdowns and chuggy riffing) but they seemed to have embraced a more melodic death metal approach at times. This pairs nicely with the accented use of keyboards (done by Adrienne Cowan of Seven Spires, who also contributes some vocals on a few tracks) to give them a more graceful and symphonic vibe. When things are at their strongest, such as “Never Alone,” it has the same level of intensity and dramatic flair as Bleeding Through in their later (and better) years. But for all the steps forward that the band makes, the bro-ish delivery of Plague (combined with some hokey lyrics) makes some songs, like “Kings of Carnage,” more of a chore to listen to than they should be. Other cuts like “Either Way You Lose” just feel too similar to others to make a real impact at the tail-end of the disc.
There’s no denying that Blood of My Enemy is a solid step in the right direction for Winds of Plague. A more thoroughly metal backbone should turn some heads their way that may have ignored them previously, but they don’t go too far off the beaten path. Old fans will still dig it, and the revamped approach should widen their appeal. Hopefully they continue further in this direction in the future.