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Plector: Punishment Day

It's always a little sad to me to learn that a good band has decided to call it a day. I guess I've always held on to this fantasy that the love of the music is enough to propel a band toward more and more performances and musical releases. Unfortunately, my fantasy conflicts with the realities of being able to live off of the hard-earned money that comes in a difficult and competitive metal scene. There are so many bands out there clamoring for attention, most of them mere variations on what's come before. I don't know how many bands are able to make even a modest living off of their music, but I doubt they are in the majority. Imagine, too, how hard it would be for an underground act to make it into the mainstream.

With Punishment Day, their second full-length release, Plector has decided to split up after only six years in the scene. Unfortunately, I'd never heard of them before now, but I've come to learn that they have a somewhat strong presence on Youtube through live videos, music videos, and so on.

So is Punishment Day any good? Is this a band that more people ought to have discovered before now? Yes and no. There isn't much new musically on this album, but the performances are strong. The songs are mostly constructed from elements of thrash metal with a little bit of death metal thrown in for good measure. Erik Engbo's vocals are pretty good, if only just more of the same growling we've heard for so long. His guitar work, however, is quite good. His solos stood out to me as technically proficient and musically interesting. I really enjoyed "The Ending," which reminded me a little bit of late Death. Engbo is no Chuck Schuldiner, but he has certainly learned a few chops from him. The other musicians, Vilhelm Norberg (drums) and Patrik Wall (bass), are no mean slouches, either. The drums are especially strong at times, giving out plenty of blast beats and interesting fills without resorting to just pounding and more pounding. The bass is more subtle, but makes its presence known at certain key dramatic moments. As a swan song, this is a good release, a glimpse of what this band had to offer, and a fitting tribute to metal's underground.

Track Listing:
1. Overthrown
2. Insularity
3. No Reward
4. Dishonesty
5. To Be Punished
6. Postal
7. Take the Hit
8. The Ending
9. Devotion

Added: January 5th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1809
Language: english

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