Corroded – Plague (Despotz Records)

Friday, 17th November 2023
Rating: 6.5 / 10

Best known for their song “Time and Again” that became the theme song for the Swedish Survivor television series back in 2009, Corroded have had the opportunity in their career to hit their domestic charts, also playing a European support tour opening for Airbourne back in 2013. At this site we’ve reviewed the last two studio records Defcon Zero and Bitter, neither exactly hitting the mark as their groovy mix of metal with classic/modern influences just sounds stagnant without any noticeable qualities to stand apart from the commercial crowd. Back again for the sixth record Plague, you get the feeling that the band’s influence tree they pull from is adequate enough to appease the converts, but probably not going to sway fence sitters into massive fans.

The main components of these twelve tracks supply a mix of mid-tempo and groove-oriented lower tuned/crunchy templates – thick rhythms from the Machine Head, Pantera meets Five Finger Death Punch mold, along with vocals that possess that modern/alternative grit put through the commercial, modern metal prism. The lead work from Sam Söderlindh has its fleet of tasty aspects (“Monster” or “Watch the World Burn”), and there are spots of drop in/ drop out groove parts where the bass/drumming keeps the main hook momentum chugging in the ideal direction – “Beaten” being the brightest example here. Occasionally the group challenge themselves with six-minute arrangements for “Rain” and “Secret” that include diverse vocals, atmospheric endings, or a doomy, Sabbath-like lurching crawl where rhythm guitarist / vocalist Jens Westin conveys a distant, melancholic delivery that matches the darker feel of the riffs, where you feel the lines ‘we are ships in stormy waters /we are lambs brought to slaughter’ throwing your emotions back and forth.

Most North Americans feel like this sound has flooded the airwaves or has been a staple of so many mainstream rock radio live festivals that it’s interchangeable with the veterans of this scene – and that’s where the major recommendation struggle lies for Corroded. While realizing it’s hard to create something fresh or new in this movement, Plague is just another competent yet underwhelming effort that isn’t as great as the main inspirations they pull from.

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