The Great Stone War

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Band Name Winds Of Plague
Album Name The Great Stone War
Type Album
Released date 11 August 2009
Labels Century Media
Music StyleSymphonic Death
Members owning this album131


1. Earth 01:30
2. Forged in Fire (ft. Martin Stewart of Terror) 03:35
3. Soldiers of Doomsday 04:06
4. Approach the Podium 03:40
5. Battle Scars 03:25
6. Chest and Horns (ft. Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed) 04:00
7. Creed of Tyrants 02:45
8. Our Requiem 04:14
9. Classic Struggle (ft. Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence) 03:20
10. The Great Stone War 04:17
11. Tides of Change 02:25
Bonustrack (Itunes Edition)
12. Halloween (The Misfits Cover) 01:52
- Footage of the making of the album and live performance (from The Atticus Metal Tour 2009).
Total playing time 37:17

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Winds Of Plague

Review @ Scandals

19 August 2009
Winds of Plague have an interesting genre description on their Metal Archives page. They’re referred to being ’symphonic deathcore’. Now deathcore is beginning to stagnate at the moment, nothing really changes with each release, and previous gems in the filth ridden pools of the genre have moved onto more easily definable death metal plains (Job for a Cowboy, Suicide Silence). So understandably, to keep interest in the style, bands need to start introducing new elements to keep it fresh. I’m not convinced on symphonic deathcore, but hey, I wasn’t convinced on symphonic black metal until Dimmu Borgir’s ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’ so who knows what can happen?! I was not really a fan of Winds of Plague’s last effort, ‘Decimate the Weak’. It didn’t stand out to me as a high point of the burgeoning deathcore scene, especially when efforts from All Shall Perish and Suicide Silence showed that there was definitely a sustainable element in the genre. It appears that the symphonic elements are in there merely to give them something different from other bands, not as an integral part of the music. ‘The Great Stone War’ is a definite improvement, the song writing is more mature and keyboard work actually enhances the rumbling menace of ‘Soldiers of Doomsday’. Super heavy breakdowns pepper every song, almost perfectly designed for headbanging and the charm of the album is in these dumber moments. You get the feeling that the symphonic keyboards and piano lines are in there to appeal to the more discerning metal fan, rather than the mosh happy headbanger. To be honest its kind of disappointing that the second half of the album slides away from the more impressive opening tracks. I was hoping that we’d finally get to see something truly essential from these guys. But the album isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re a young band, and have legitimately improved with every release; the song writing is tighter, the riffing is more precise and the symphonic elements have now been worked into the music better. It is a genuine breath of fresh air in the style, and I applaud them for being brave enough to try something like this and have it actually work to some extent. If they were a movie, they’d be ‘Godzilla’; all weight, impressive effects but no real substance. It’s a shame, and I do hope that they can bring together for an essential release because they are a good band. Musically talented and capable of some excellent tracks like ‘Battle Scars’, ‘Our Requiem’ and ‘Approach the Podium’, they have the potential. Let’s hope that the next time they can move from ‘Godzilla’ to ‘Cloverfield’, and create something that is worth repeated attention, instead of being a guilty pleasure.

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Review @ SeasonsMist

22 February 2013

Uh Oh, I Smell Generic

I wanted to review "The Great Stone War" because it is the key transition to Winds of Plague's war-bringing thematic style to that of "Against the World", which is utter and complete shit. The Great Stone War focuses on medieval themes of battle and war, starting with the cool intro "Earth". This album is good, but not as good as "Decimate the Weak". Standout tracks are "Chest and Horns" and the title track. This is Winds of Plague moving from a unique creation to just another Deathcore band. The one stand-out of this album is that the symphonic elements are very well placed and epic in some parts, this and the lyrics are really the last ties to "Decimate the Weak".

Johnny's vocals sound similar to "Decimate the Weak", except here he starts to develop that annoying rap style that is trademark in "Against the World". The vocal style sounds less metal and more hardcore.. Also he uses shouts instead of high screams here, which work well, but the gutturals are overproduced and hard to understand. The rap style with the lyrical content just... Doesn't work. It seems he has to have a horrible "Reloaded" style rap track in every album.. Here it is the Halloween cover by the Misfits. This track is so butchered and horrible that I would buy every track BUT it and pay a dollar more for the incomplete album than have to hear this shit. The vocals have deteriorated here but are still okay.

The first thing you notice about the guitars is they are downtuned to match the bass like Emmure and Suicide Silence, and not melodic standard tuning like "Decimate the Weak" (uh oh, I smell generic). The riffs are more basic and upbeat and are seemingly designed to accent Johhny's rapped vocals rather than being a creative element on their own merit. That said, there are some solos and a few cool riffs, not reducing this to the shit of a Chelsea Grin album. Guitars are okay. The bass is just Deathcore, no comment.

The drum work here is very similar to "Decimate the Weak" but instead of the metal sounding drum tunings, we have tuning that sounds like it was recorded at a Rise records studio. This makes the album even more generic to me. Drums are fair but below average.

Overall, this album marks a sad progression from a unique band to a band that has been marketed and changed to attract the massive hardcore/Suicide Silence fan base. The symphonic elements are the last link, so enjoy them... They are used horribly in "Against the World". That is if you can listen to that album long enough to hear them. Overall, Winds of Plague's last decent release, and the end of a good style, and the beginning of Johnny Plague's "yeah bro" douchery. This gets 12/20 only for the symphonics.

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Review @ WinterMadness177

28 October 2009
The combination of Symphonic Deathcore and Black Metal is appealing to the eyes Winds of Plague. The idea of all-in-one is a good vision. Not to mention, exciting. But visions and theories are nothing unless put to life, the proper way that is. Then results are judged, by you and me...

I have seen this band perform at Summer Slaughter Tour and I can assure you, they know how to get the crowd going. Of course, stage presence is not the only key to a great band. There are series of other things, like actual talent.

It was very difficult for me to tell if I was still on one track or if I've moved on and now listening to another track. They all sound very similar. I started on track 1, then unknowingly I was on the 4th track. How did it happen, was I there? It is that forgettable. It doesn't hold your attention, you will get lost. It's not the happy kind of feeling of lost in love for music, but the feeling of dread you've just bestowed upon yourself.

I want to appreciate the vocalist's approach in merging various stylings. Some approach made good results, but most resulted in perforation of the eardrums. Nothing spectacular about the plain keyboard structure either. And the one-way technique and over use of the double bass on the drums (yes, there is such a thing). The guitars atleast attempted with precision. 'Battle Scars' is an example of good effort that I perceived as their only technical material. Maybe also a bit of 'Soldiers Of Doomsday'. The remaining contains repetition of laughable break downs and the usual Death Metal chord progressions.

I realized their last album got some really bad reviews. It's clear they are trying their hardest to break down boundaries with sub genres. There is always room for improvement.

In conlusion; I do not recommend it to anyone, for it will not move you, not an inch. Perhaps with their next album?

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SeasonsMist - 21 February 2013: How do you at all get black metal from Winds of Plague?
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