If you have not come across Khazaddum before or heard their music before and you stumble across “Plagues Upon Arda”, you may think that Khazaddum is a folk metal band or a different genre of that nature, but that is not the case. Khazaddum plays a brutal, technical and melodic brand of death metal that is inspired by J.R.R Tolkien. “Plagues Upon Arda” weaves a tale of the citizens of Middle Earth and the tale is a harrowing one at that. Within this release you are greeted with nothing but relentless and pummeling death metal for nine straight tracks, and from the intro on you are given no time to rest as Khazaddum piles the death on thick and effortlessly.
The intro “The Halls Of Khazad-Dum” sets the tone for the rest of the record providing you with an epic sounding precursor to the tales that lie in wait within. Once “The Halls Of Khazad-Dum” fades Khazaddum begin to pile on track after track of nothing but pure Dwarven death metal fury. Each track on this release barrels straight out of your speakers providing you with neck snapping goodness. These tracks are powerful and relentless, grabbing you by the jaw from the get go never to let you go even after your listen is over. With barbaric riffs and pummeling drumming coupled with bestial vocals, you are presented with nine tracks of excellently crafted and performed death metal that gets your head banging and your neck snapping in no time.
Coupled with the all out assault, Khazaddum weaves orchestral elements into each of their tracks as well to help progress the and highlight the epic tales that are being woven. The symphonic and orchestral elements can be heard all throughout “Plagues Upon Arda” and they work so damn well with the otherwise bone shattering death metal to provide you with a whole, cohesive and overall unforgettable sound. Without the symphonic and orchestral elements “Plagues Upon Arda” would still be a great death metal record, but with them it pushes this album further and helps progress the tales that are being told to gift you a wondrous and memorable listen.
“Plagues Upon Arda” is a great record, one that you want to keep on listening to no matter how many times it is that you have already listened to it. Khazaddum does a great job of sucking you in to this new release of theirs and keeping you listening and entertained all throughout. There isn’t a track on this release that is lacking in any sort of way and there certainly isn’t a track on this record that you would wish to skip. This entire nine track release is memorable and heavy as well as just an overall solid and great record to listen to and bang your head to until your brain is eternally bruised.
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