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Sorrow Plagues - Homecoming (2017) - Review

Band: Sorrow Plagues
Album title: Homecoming
Release date: 27 May 2017
Label: Self-Released

01. Departure
02. Disillusioned
03. Isolated
04. Irreversible
05. Relinquish
06. Homecoming

Sorrow Plagues, the UK based band, a brainchild of musician David Lovejoy, self-released the sophomore album Homecoming. This project was born in 2014 and after three EP's and three singles, their first eponymous album was released in 2016. From the beginning, Sorrow Plagues make emotionally rich songs that retain the black metal aura but incorporating various other elements, most notable are from post-rock, blackgaze and post-metal, but I can't go past the fact that I sense a huge influence of early Alcest, Deafheaven and of Woods Of Desolation here. That's what was offered on their high-quality debut album which has been highly acclaimed by critics. This second full-length, Homecoming, as well and maybe even to a higher degree achieves the essential emotional vibe of the atmospheric post-black metal genre.
Far from being aggressive, even though there are screaming and bitter vocals, strong blastbeats, Sorrow Plagues focus on an incredible moody and warmth personality. All of the tracks have kind of a psychological depth. The depth of the songs comes from the lyrics that talk about darkness, sadness, emptiness and solitude. This time, David Lovejoy, presents the sad feeling that precedes the deliverance of everything that holds the human being in the ostracism of his existence. It's a journey in search of the true self that liberates itself from the bonds that keep it from being happy. Six quite long but perfect tracks let the instruments roam free as the music progresses. It's interesting enough that I chose this album in a period of my life when I'm struggling exactly with what the lyrical theme brings.

The amazing clean yet heavy melodic guitar solos, there's constantly present a great amount of melodic lines, well inserted atmospheric synths and the high pitched depressive shrieks, leads me in on a painful yet liberating inner journey. "Departure" opens on an upbeat and impressive guitar intro and right after that you're slowly introduced to an ethereal atmosphere, accomplished through greatly textured instrumentation. The instruments seem floating above while the vocals shout, balancing the music between light and darkness. Cutting edge instrumentation makes this track an impactful start. Seven epic minutes taking you to a reflective path. The second track of the album, “Disillusioned”, comes mixed well with the first one, it doesn’t occur that nasty cut between the tracks. It is the longest song of the album and the instrumental progression remains flawless.
"Isolated" has some passionate riffs and "Irreversible", ahhh, what a song! The instrumental side stole the scene, the guitars went through a non-melo rhythm. Instead, that's what I can say, let the guitar cry out of sadness. In the background the drums which are fast, technical and furious bring forth that typical black metal scent in connotation with desperate vocals. This simply impels me to want to say to David Lovejoy to come here and let me give you a hug. In 4:27 the heavy style melts in a melodic hopeful tone, the drum reduces almost abruptly from the harsh style to a typical post-rock style. The bass sound is polished, clear and beautiful, I do not even need to talk about the guitar that gives a show on its own.

The last track opens with a bit more laid-back and atmospheric intro and innovates surprisingly with the sound of saxophones. Proving that what many have rarely seen in a metal band, yes, can be used, it's obvious that you must know how to do it, and David Lovejoy shows us he is a master in this field. It's a great album for fans of innovative atmospheric post-black metalgaze with a very important detail, talking about what many, many of us need to think for free ourselves from a society that are slowly killing us, one by one. Let's wake up! If you already didn't, go listen this album asap.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 8,5/10