|Art by Václav Trajer|
“Blackenedstonerrocksludgedoom …..thats a word right????” That’s what you find in the info section on Plague Mask facebook page. Well, I’m not really sure if it’s a word or not, but it describes the basic blend Plague Mask offer on their EP The Frailty Of Human Existence (2013) quite to the point. The EP comprises of four songs and lasts short but sweet 14 minutes and 23 seconds. Thankfully, short as it is, no second of it is wasted, every moment is filled with the abovementioned blend of blackenedstonerrocksludgedoom plus some extra spices to create four compelling songs.
The first song “Sink And Drown” is a kind of an ‘easy’ introduction. Although it has, like all the other songs, an underlying menacing and eerie atmosphere, there’s also a somewhat lulling and seductive force especially in the strong melody, the guitar part near the end and the contrasting vocals that are something between a deep growl and a hardcore scream with a unique abrasive, rasping touch to them. (Is it possible to fall in love with vocals? Yes it is, it happened many times to me and it happened here.)
The first half of the second song “Harvest Of The Dogs” is a sludge/ doom/black metal assault with a lot of changes in tempo and intensity, then after an abrupt break it turns into a spacey ambient soundscape that finally drowns in a sea of bubbling sounds. “When We Become The Last Burning Star” then (my favorite track of the EP), plays with tempo changes even more and the vocals in the slow parts are most intriguing, providing a creepy doomy atmosphere with their stunning rasping touch.
The last song “Botched Swimming Lessons” is the complementary piece to the first song. While the first one was the alluring intro, the last one is a fast angry HC ridden blast that definitely leaves you wanting for more and suspecting there’s a lot more potential to evolve and run riot. Not only the last song leaves you wanting for more (and not only the bewitching vocals either). The Frailty Of Human Existence experiments and plays with contrasts, tempo changes and musical styles to create cohesive but varying moods. It leaves a hint and a feel of this quite young band (formed in 2011) band being capable of refining their already individual style.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]