As trite a cliche as it may be, the journey is usually infinitely more rewarding than the destination itself. Can one hope but to fumble through the present and the subsequent future if one doesn’t revisit and dwell upon the lessons of the past? A bane of many a modern metal band is the disjointed mix of influences starkly evident in their songs. When one hasn’t dedicated enough time to being a honest student to the evolution of a musical style, through its myriad successes and discarded experiments, when one’s heroes cover a gamut of textures that share little similarity, musically or ideologically, is it any wonder that the resultant output is a haphazard concoction of disparate elements, showing little to no continuity in theme or progression?
Shillong’s Plague Throat, by all accounts, are a hardworking band with their hearts in the right place, toiling in the Northeastern parts of India. The embedded song starts off on a terribly derivative, Cannibal Corpse-inspired motif, but that wouldn’t make them the first band to riff on those lines. It is the dramatic changes in tone with no preceding warning or subtext that grate on the nerves and make it seem like a random collation of riffs that the band came up with in isolation without any heed to a grand architecture. As collaborative an effort as writing a song in an ensemble must be, it is virtually impossible to form a cohesive whole without one supreme, overriding vision as genesis and ideal. Plague Throat are all over the shop with their particular interpretation of death metal, injecting out-of-key tremolo lines built on unrelated melodic frameworks, and tedium-inducing bouncy breakdowns that take up the entire second half of the song, owing more to varied shades of impotent metalcore and slam. One doesn’t expect originality to spew out of every orifice of 21st century society but whatever happened to a good old dose of repetitive, tough-as-nails Krisiun?