I enjoyed Northern Plague’s 2014 debut album Manifesto, so it’s with high expectations that I approached their new work Scorn the Idle.
Well, they’ve been busy. Rather than simply repeat exactly what they did on their debut album, the band have opted for a darker route with the new one, embracing their black metal side more than previously. This manifests in an increased amount of melody and atmosphere; of course, these elements were present on Manifesto, but now they’ve been brought to the fore.
The music is largely still as scathing and vicious as ever though, as the melodic/atmospheric elements are only part of Northern Plague’s sound. The blackened sheen that they carry is definitely more prominent this time around, however, and even though there’s still a decent helping of death metal assault in their sound, I think that Northern Plague are now working in black metal territories more than death metal ones, overall.
As with their debut, the level of songwriting skill is high with this band. Alongside some very tasty riffs, we’re also treated to some stellar leads and solos, with some of the latter being particularly enjoyable.
Rounding off the package is a clear, powerful, professional production, lending the songs the strength they need to be as effective as possible.
Northern Plague have released a very strong follow up to Manifesto, one that takes the sound they established on their debut album and refines it with an increased blackened presence. The result is a collection of songs that show the band have improved and progressed themselves. Scorn the Idle is a winner.