Newcastle’s Technical Death Metal experimenters Plague Rider are back with a new EP. The first since 2015. Their Death Metal is lathed in (un)healthy doses of exploration in darkness, aggression and speed. Yet, they come strikingly close to Cryptopsy. Rhizome marks a step up with new depths of raw sounding violence.
Dynamic riffs and powerful and full sounding drums lead a base sound for Plague Rider. Their proficiency a near surprise for the songs that forever dart around but despite their mess there is an order to this madness. It is an underground and not often side to Death Metal; atmospheric, raw, dynamic and Death from all sides.
Leading the experimental edge are the atmospheres added for good measure. Sampling and distorting the air. However, the true show stealer is the vocals. Deep, guttural, dark and animalistic; they push each side and dart from one to another fittingly. The most vocal variety befitting the closing song ‘Without Organs’, whist the unexpected guitar melody of ‘Stagnation Cult’ give the EP the other end of the corpse.
Rhizome gives new life to Plague Rider and certainly their songs are lifelike and all Death. It befits them well and falls into it’s very clear cut niche. The accomplished musicianship and willingness to experiment will keep their sheer aggression striving ever forward. A certain progression from their previous efforts!