Genre: Death Metal
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
“Angelplague” is the third full length album by New Jersey based death metal act Kalopsia, who have been active for quite some time now, despite their relatively limited discography. I’ve known the band since 2012 and their album “Amongst the Ruins”, even though I had completely forgot about them a while after checking that album back then. The new record is from the same materials and contains eight compositions, but once again it doesn’t really knock your world down by any means.
Kalopsia could be described as a death metal band of the modern era and they use a blend of elements from various genres, like melodic death metal or hardcore. In fact, one can hear many hardcore passages, like the chuggy, groovy parts and the slowing down they attempt sometimes. Vocally, the typical, expected growls keep on for the whole record. However, “Angelplague” doesn’t showcase these lines convincingly, as the album has a lot of holes when it comes to structure and songwriting.
There are issues with the guitar work, which has very few moments of bliss during the record. At times, the band tries to get more epic with some melodeath playing and these seconds are somehow decent, like in the middle part of the track “Scorched Earth and Blackened Skies”, one of the better numbers on “Angelplague”. Such ideas can be found elsewhere too and even though they are not that bad, they have been abruptly included in the structure of the tracks they’re in. Kalopsia thought of writing different stuff together but it didn’t work out.Not to mention the average drumming.
And when there’s more heavy parts coming in, it’s pretty much “same old shit”. The focus on the more hardcore-ish injections to make the album more applicable to easy headbanging, have stripped the record off actual riffs and in death metal, they are of vital importance, really. Therefore, the result could not possibly impress death metal fans and it might miss on other fans (of hardcore etc.) as well.
Tracks like “Destined to Return” or “As the Serpent Devours” are substandard and painful to listen to, placed right in the beginning of the record. Going into “Christened Upon the Slab”, there is a slam death riff almost stepping into brutal death metal territory (reminded me a bit of the first album by Abominable Putridity), then melodic guitars and a metalcore-ish breakdown arrives and it doesn’t make sense at all. The same weird blend of ideas happens pretty much until the end. On the other hand, “Source of my Evil” and “No Peace but Pestilence” could be the only worth listening to, apart from “Scorched Earth and Blackened Skies”.
For the most part, “Angelplague” is a failing record that will not stand among legit death metal that goes on these years, and I don’t mean the exceptional bands out there. Apart from a handful of solid moments, I couldn’t find much in this album and I don’t see how it will win extreme metal fans. Even the good tracks of the record are not notable, just better than the rest of the bunch. Look for something else.