The skilled US duo known as Sarcoptes recently unleashed this two-track curse upon the unsuspecting underground masses out there and what we are dealing with is essentially fast, blistering, and yet sufficiently varied black metal with rather prominent traces of death metal and thrash to it. ‘Plague Hymns’ is as pummeling and aggressive as they come and offers strong and confident vocals, plenty of wicked melodies, and some sickeningly cool twists and turns throughout. What about dynamics then? Well, they have covered that too, so have no worries. The melodies carry a sense of something sinister and foreboding and yet occasionally there is a tinge of both melancholy and raging despair to them too. In general, they are relatively easy on the ear and the sparse use of keyboards add a bit of color and nuance to these blackened compositions.
The 2-track EP evokes an intense and claustrophobic aura that is most unholy and loathsome in places in that it reeks of death and decay, which is what any black metal release ought to strive for really, but there is also an epic quality to ‘The Vertigo Soul‘ and ‘La Moria Grandissima‘ due to the way in which the riffs, melodies, and guitar leads are interwoven and complement each other. The latter track is an eleven-minute piece with a prevalent sense of satanic grandeur to it.
Plague Hymns is a highly competent release and even though it is hardly what one would deem original or innovative, it is a thoroughly enjoyable listen that displays focus and discipline. The two odes to darkness that constitute the EP retain their momentum throughout and possess staying power aplenty.
Find out more about Sarcoptes here: https://sarcoptesblack.bandcamp.com/album/plague-hymns-black-thrash-metal