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Upon first glance at A Plea For Purging’s “Depravity” one might not know what to expect. The album cover is the band staring ahead, standing waist deep in water wearing black dress shirts and ties. An ominous appearance if you know the band’s melodic metalcore style. Upon listening the band continues the eerie vibe with their intro song “Descension” which consists of a panning single guitar over an unsettling noise.
After this intro the band shows their intentions with this record: creating intricate metalcore with tinges of melody strewn throughout. Breakdowns are not a hard find on this album by any means. The songs do not sound exactly similar, but there is a definite thread between them. Some moments will be lost to the listener within the first few listens, but once one gets acquainted with the album each song and its parts become distinctive and memorable. One great bit of song is in “Holocausts” where there is a high pitched tremolo solo offsetting a chugging guitar riff. Another moment that is great is in “Motives” where the guitars play pull off dissonant chords over pounding double bass. This riff could have easily come out of an Ion Dissonance record.
The album flows and is dynamic in its own context, but doesn’t really pull many punches. There is a sort of scream-singing part in “Reputation” that is unfitting of the album, but even more unfitting is a strange vocoder sung moment later in the song. This song may throw off listeners but is refreshing when made sense of. “Depravity” is a guitar driven album that is apparent.
Technical guitar lines and riffs are the stars of this album with all others following their lead. Bass is efficient but does not take center attention much on the album. Drums are fast and technical and do a great job of keeping up with the guitar intricacies and discord. The vocals on “Depravity” take care in forming the bands own sound. There are no gutturals or highs, just mid range yells in a more hardcore vein. There is even a guest vocal spot on “Motives” by Devin Leach of Alert The Sky. By not having more deathcore vocals, the band sets themselves aside from other bands that are doing a similar style.
BOTTOM LINE: “Depravity” is a great addition for A Plea For Purging and takes a stagnant genre and revitalizes it. A Plea For Purging have set the mark for melodic metalcore in 2009. If you are looking for progressive metalcore from dudes who know what they are doing check this album out. “Depravity” is not the all time greatest metalcore cd, but is definitely adding real musicianship to a genre filled with mediocre artists.