War//Plague - On A Darker Dawn
For those of you who don’t know who WAR//PLAGUE are… well, you’re missing out. It’s doubtful that a simple review can do the band justice or properly describe one of the finest crust bands going today.
It would seem like cheating to mention MISERY at this point in the review. After all, WAR//PLAGUE are a different group of individuals at a different point in their lives. However, there is no denying the impact and influence that bands like MISERY, AMEBIX, DEVIATED INSTINCT, etc have had on the developing sound of WAR//PLAGUE. In no way am I saying that they are just another throwback band – their sound is definitely their own. I mention MISERY specifically because both bands have created a very heavy, yet diverse crust sound that is as much a nod to the originators of UK crust as it is their original vision of the style. And of course, you can’t deny the Minneapolis connection between the two. There’s no way that either band could have existed outside the twin cities. Call it fate.
On A Darker Dawn is the first WAR//PLAGUE full-length, and it was more than worth the wait. As an avid fan from the first demo through the Smolder EP, the split LP with POLICE BASTARD, and finally this masterpiece, I’m struck by how much the band has grown in such a short period of time. While all the elements were always there, everything has completely come together on this record. Lutz’ vocals have never sounded better; the guitar work is absolutely outstanding; the song structures have grown leaps and bounds; I can finally hear Sam’s bass abilities (a complaint I’ve often had in past recordings is that the bass was too low in the mix); the drumming isn’t too technical, but definitely not rudimentary – Chad seems to have a style all his own.
From the instrumental opening through the nine songs and into the instrumental closing, you can tell this is a well crafted piece of music. This is one of those records that you need to listen to all the way through, as it just won’t impact you the same way in any other order, or if any piece is missing. This is absolutely the best Profane release in recent memory, and one of the best punk albums of the last few years.