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Obliterate Plague, The: The Wrath of Cthulhu

Some readers probably know that I live in Utah and that I attend lots of shows in the Salt Lake City area. Whatever most people think they know about Utah, I'll bet they don't know that there's a strong metal scene here, one that appears to be growing all the time. Even better, the metal fans around these parts really dig death metal. Sure, large numbers of people come out to see the latest line up of Guns N' Roses, but I will never forget the first time I saw Nile perform here, especially when the audience burst into shouts of "Nile," "Nile," "Nile." When the band returned, just under a year later, the audience was no less appreciative. Nile, obviously, isn't the only extreme band to roll through town, but they help me make the point—Salt Lake has a growing and exciting metal scene.

I mention all this mostly because The Obliterate Plague is a Death Metal band out of this wonderful city and because I care about what happens within the metal community here. I'm not as connected as the musicians are, but I happen to know that there are actually lots of good bands around these parts; sure, I've only seen somewhere around ten to twelve of them, but I've liked (almost) all of them. I even know a few of the musicians and count some of them as pretty good friends.

On to business: I was excited to get my hands on The Wrath of Cthulhu not only because I will practically buy anything that ties Lovecraft to heavy metal, but also because I had heard good things about this band generally. They've actually been making music for a long time—well over ten years now—and have obviously been honing their sound quite carefully. Much of this album comes from earlier demo work that has now been gathered into one accessible place and made to sound brighter and better.

I was impressed with the overall quality of the band's sound and their genuinely good songwriting. From start to finish, the music has a classic, strong, and straightforward death metal sound that is played well. I suspect the members of this band are long-term fans of death metal and just want to make some music in the spirit of their heroes. Like other trios, this band also sounds larger than their individual members, often due to Alejandro Gomez's brutal, energetic, and overwhelming drumming. In some tracks, especially "The Wrath of Chthulhu," Gomez pounds out a mood that could very likely bring Cthulhu out from the depths of the sea.

One of the best things about this album is that it carries an obvious debt to Chuck Schuldiner and Death, especially the early albums. This comes out mostly through the guitars, but also sometimes in the singing. I happen to know that Alex Jorgenson, guitarist (and vocalist) for the band, grew up practicing to Death albums, figuring out the riffs, solo lines, and lead passages. His hard work pays off, especially when he steps forward and gives the music an extra layer of high end squeal. On this album, he doesn't seem quite as driven toward proggy influences—as was Schuldiner—but he certainly has the talent to push things as hard as he can. Check out the mid-range passages on "The Eternal Conquest" for good examples of the way this guy shreds the fretboard. By the way, lest readers think I'm overlooking the bass parts, don't worry—Mike Evinger's bass lines, never boring, keep the back end up with great energy.

This is a good album with many highlights. My favorite tracks included "Plagues of the Dead," "Infected by Chaos," "Masters of Warfare," and "The Mighty Wrath of Cthulhu." The best thing about this album, for me, is that the music is never gimmicky; from start to finish, this is straightforward death metal played for its own sake. Fans of the old school will appreciate its love for the past, but newer fans will also find plenty to enjoy here. I don't think this album is available in stores right now, so check out the band's Facebook page for information. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Plagues of the Dead
2. Through the Eyes of Evil
3. Infected by Chaos
4. Masters of Warfare
5. The Eternal Conquest
6. Summoning of the Dark Lords
7. The Mighty Wrath of Cthulhu

Added: July 31st 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 7691
Language: english

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