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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury, 7 May 2013
By 
Johan Klovsjö (Göteborg, Sweden) - See all my reviews
Massive and erosive to the ears! But what happened to the epic class of "Mammal"?

If you're unfamiliar with the band, they play a kind of post-black metal with thoroughly heavy beats and electronic bass sampling. It's very effective, very loud.

If you've heard the bands previous album, you'll instantly recognise the sound. But on this new album the sound is heavier and deeper, more massive in its scope. The music lends itself naturally to long winding songs building towards epic climaxes. But, surprisingly, the band has opted for much shorter tracks, which leaves me feeling a bit let down. They could have explored these 8 pieces (plus a weird intro that feels completely out of place) so much more. But the songs are good as they are too.

The production on this newest album is polished and tight, definitely a step up from Mammal.

If the band had allowed the songs to evolve and take me on longer journeys, this would have been an easy 5. However, as it is: 4/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real. AOP 100% Intense, 28 May 2013
WOW. Incredible.

I like this disc much better than 'Mammal'. As good as 'White Tomb'.
What Altar Of Plagues does on this CD is break their own barriers and it is very rewarding to the listener. Its different. This is a VERY Black CD. Much more Black Metal than 'Mammal'. But its also very unique, twisted and downright excellent!

The best part of this Disc, is it gives the listener options. AOP has pretty much reached their peak with 15 minute plus tracks. As much as I liked the anticipation of those slow, creepy dirges, I always wondered if they could hit the mark and cut those pieces down. After all, not many are always in the mood to listen to a 15 minute track. This CD gives the listener the option of totally skipping the ambient, mid-section and you can get the experience in the surrounding tracks of 4-5 minute gems. These tracks are EXTREMELY intense. Brutal. The best material they have done so far.

BUT this is not to say its an easy listen or that any of it can be background music. These tracks are true, creepy, blast-beat infused Black metal (no stupid satanic lyrics) with some extremely intense effects. The things you like about their previous stuff is all here but condensed, and where the band may not have many new ideas musically, sonically this CD is a trip. The layers and sound effects, the venom spouting Vocals (at times are nearly as creepy as the cult classic by Silencer-'Death Pierce Me'), the chants, percussion, The different Guitar sounds they use and the production of the drumming to suite the tracks, is very good. The Ideas these guys have are astounding, yet all bleak. They really tried to inflict more technological trauma with this CD and have succeeded without losing an ounce of intensity. Quite the opposite really. That is what will make me keep coming back to this CD more than 'Mammal'. I can tell there are hundreds of things I have not even heard yet. This is 'White Tomb' on steroids.

I hear traces of Leviathan, Bathory, and even Tool(Guitar sound)on this CD. But it is 100% AOP. Make no mistake.

Summary:

If you gut out the midsection, this CD is a slab of nearly perfect, bleak Black metal. VERY intense, excellent production, great musicianship for this style and original as hell. This band has really outdone themselves by cutting out some of the fat and just going for it.
And on the days you have nothing but time, listen to the entire thing. The ambient sections do add a lot to the overall experience.
Altar of Plagues' best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surprise., 6 May 2013
For some reason blackmetal has always intrigued me. I've been on the lockout for a band that appeals to me. What I found over the years though was bands that 1 were too extreme (for me) or 2 bands that mixed black metal with more commercial sounding metal (not my thing either). These guys caught my attention with the video they made for "God Alone", completely original and unexpected (check it out on YouTube). Based on that one song I bought the album and it just blew me away. It has some of the blackmetal characteristics but is so much more. All songs are inventive and unexpected. A real must have for every openminded metal fan. Or just every person who enjoys something special. And maybe this isn't even blackmetal, it's just good music by talented people. Try!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury - (96%), 11 Jan 2014
Since this Irish bands humble conception, they have slowly amassed the favour of being a fore founder of the post black metal genre. With furious live performances and a series of totally unique releases, the band headed by James Kelly, brought their legacy to a pivotal moment before closing the gates once and for all earlier this year.

`Teethed Glory and Injury' has stirred up many feelings and divided crowds rather drastically - from scathing knee jerk reactions, to utter bafflement and wonderment. I sit in the second category. Monochromal, static and overwhelming guitar parts fill this heinously creepy production with a naive feeling of exploration and catharsis through the very most basic of violent expression.

Using producer/engineer/musician Jamie Gomez, who has worked with massive names in heavy music including three of Ulver's recent releases, was a fantastic choice for embellishing on the haunted and incursive, glitchy atmosphere. You feel the collaboration at work with James Kelly bringing these artistic ideas to the live room and Jamie Gomez picking up on where some extra programming would work a treat. A lot of that is in and around moments that might have just been feedback and some drums building up on previous albums.

My favourite track is Burnt Year. It is literally painful to listen to. The torment in the voice, and the immense pulse created in the off beat percussion. The song seems to be a very honest recollection of unthinkable tragedy. I can relate to some of the subject matter, which is probably why the song has a very strong effect on me.

I always loved Altar of Plagues most during their more minimal moments with either yelped or even sung passages over a thorny bed of distant drums and toothless cacophony, before often the bite returns in a scintillating, uniform but totally individual firestorm of modern, urban and introverted sonic malcontent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 29 Aug 2013
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This album is without a shadow of a doubt, the most impressive, unique and spellbinding album of the year. I had been familiar with Altar of Plagues music but had never given it a chance before, this is because I felt I had their sound down and threw them in the pile of standard Post-Black Metal bands. I have never been so wrong, I am ashamed that I didn't at least give them a fair chance but in a way I am glad this is my first album exposure to the band. Otherwise I may not have liked this album as much as I do; this assumption of their sound is why this album has impressed me so much.
The first track I had heard from this album was the track 'God Alone', which straight away knocked me in my place and made me interested to hear the rest. But because of the mix of reviews I held back from buying it until I had heard the entire album. What I have kept noticing is that all the people who are slating this album, are doing it because of them comparing it to their previous material, because of this change in style people are feeling disappointed that there favorite atmospheric black metal band weren't still producing the long spellbinding single track epics which have been present on all of their previous releases. But I feel that this is a great thing, the band in my opinion had already perfected their atmospheric black metal sound with 'White Tomb' and the 'Tides' EP. This split of opinion shows the sign of a great album, as many people have said "If you aren't upsetting someone, you're doing is wrong."
The instrumentation on this album is dense, and done incredibly well. The guitars are tight and biting, which have there usual tremolo riffs but are rarely done to the same extent of their previous compositions. There are Post-Rock styled guitar melodies which remind me of a schizophrenic Mogwai, drone/doom riffs which make the album extremely atmospheric and dark (think Godspeed mixed with Sunn O))) ), and syncopated sludgy riffs which really stand out and give the music a ritualistic and manic feel. For instance the staccato riffs in 'God Alone' which are just disorientating and spellbinding. The bass is there but is mainly for backing up the guitar parts, but there are occasional bass rumbles and drones contributing to expanding the textural experimentation tenfold. This is also achieved by the very stylistic and impressive use of synth's and samples which add to the ritualistic feel of the music and add to making the album more atmospheric, varied and making the album as a whole flow incredibly well. The standout timbre though is the drumming; it is brilliant to say the least. There are the usual blast beats which add to the aggressive black metal fire, but there are also complex and interesting fills and beats which work perfectly with the music. Parts remind me of Dillingers drummer, others of Isis's drummer but he retains a constant style which is pretty unique to him. I think without the detailed drumming this album wouldn't be as good.
The vocals are just jaw dropping, the sounds he can produce from his mouth simply make other black metal vocalists look like pansy's. Super aggressive black metal rasps which are bone chilling but still add understandable narrative to the music, understanding the lyrics add a lot to the music which I feel some black metal bands lack. But it doesn't stop there, he also uses almost Post-Metal barks, and the absolutely blood curdling shrieks which make me take my hat off to him. These shrieks really add to the crescendo's of the music. There are also some really great clean vocals which add a great change in dynamic and add a great variant in melody.
The attention to detail in these tracks just make them stick in the back of your head which keeps the album entertaining and memorable. This gives the album huge replay value because there is always something you missed, or a little tidbit which just wont get out of your head. I feel this wouldn't have been as effective if the production wasn't as good as it is, everything is audible and incredibly mixed. It has a good amount of dynamics which a album of this style really needs. But the depth of the sound makes you feel like you are being engulfed by the music which makes the album a truly immersive experience. But the real triumph is how heavy/crushing the album is, his is done by it sounding gritty and dark but still having the clean sound which allow space for other textures and sounds to be incorporated. Bravo
As with anything it isn't without its faults, there are sections which could have been elaborated on to make a track a bit more progressive and lengthy, I agree with some people that some songs could have been longer. But they aren't, which makes the album sound more urgent and makes it more re-listenable. The drums also sound a bit muddy, and distinguishing between different toms is hard. But I feel this really doesn't take anything from the music, this is why I have given this 5/5. While there are faults, it didn't take away from the album enough to make me deduct points.
Well done Altar of Plagues, this is their farewell album and really rounds off there career on a epic note.
For fans of: Neurosis, Krallice, The Ocean, Cult of Luna, Kayo Dot and Deathspell Omega.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Glorious Album, 26 July 2013
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Alter Of Plagues have always, (in my opinion) delivered quality music (providing you like atmospheric black metal). However Teethed Glory and Injury is a different beast from all their other releases as it is truly steering away from straight-up black metal for a much more atmospheric and abstract sound which is a delight to experience.
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Teethed Glory & Injury [VINYL]
Teethed Glory & Injury [VINYL] by Altar of Plagues (Vinyl - 2014)
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