Southern California metal harbingers Winds of Plague (WOP) have assaulted the masses once again with their latest release, Resistance. Released October 29 via Century Media, Resistance is exactly what fans have come to expect and love from the symphonic deathcore quintet. While at it’s core, the album seems to keep with WOP tradition, they do show signs of development and structural articulation that inspires hope that they may be expanding their horizons.
“Open the Gates” opens the album with the softness of the piano. Then, like a dance progressing from waltz to salsa, it mounts to a crescendo, and then slides easily into the heavy and overwhelming metal montage of their deathcore element and then into the first track, “Say Hello To The Undertaker.” The eloquence of the keys in the beginning is attention-grabbing and entrancing. It lulls you into a silky sonic cocoon and then rips the cover from around moments later.
“Say Hello to the Undertaker” has the same undercurrent of classical influence creating a symphonic melding of the brutal and moving. The guitars feature classic heavy metal chords and riffs accented by the addition of tinkling keys in the background, making for layered complexity of sound. The technical development on this track, more so than many of the others, is audibly detailed and intentional. This may come across as a bit too meticulous to some, but is appreciated for the intricate layering that seems to have gone into it. The lilt in tune on the guitar riffs in the second half of the song and the rolling drums lead the way for the cleaner breakdown and the song’s outro.
“Take a good look in the mirror, live your life in terror.”- “Sewer Mouth”
While the majority of the album is rife with the deathcore elements that have garnered WOP a cult-like following, there are a few stand-out tracks that seem to stray the course from the way the rest are composed. “Sewer Mouth” featuring Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain is highlighted with structural breakdowns and dynamics that help accentuate the duality in the vocals. The high speed guitars and thundering drums make the body of this track leap and gallop distinctly apart from the rest. “Snake Eyes” closes out the album and makes for another streak-breaking track on the album. The symphonic elements are tuned up a bit in this and the construction and lyrical content tend more towards the classical sense. There is something intrinsically beautiful about this song, even beneath the deathcore vocal brutality. It carries hints of Trivium and Hatebreed in its composition and the inescapable notes of Bleeding Through in its synth element incorporation.
“You can take the angel out of heaven, doesn’t mean she will shed her wings”- “Snake Eyes”
Between those two songs, rest of the album runs as expected from WOP with their rugged guitars, guttural vocals and furious drums creating a high speed journey through Resistance that almost exclusively seems to appeal to deathcore fans. This is not to say that the curious few couldn’t find something to enjoy about this record, but the composition and pace would make it difficult for the untrained ear to keep up. The symphonic deathcore outfit has created an album that fans will love, some critics will likely hate and leave the unexposed either deathly curious or annoyed. With a band like WOP it’s difficult to put a finger on what’s good or bad, because their stylistic elements are subject to interpretation. They exist in a league of their own and you either love them or hate them. As for Resistance, overall it fits confidently into the deathcore world; however, there are some stylized elements and exemplary songs that stir up enough intrigue to keep it interesting. Which side of the conversation are you on? Love or hate?