Sacramento three-piece Plague Widow came to form late last year, and have through some kind of sorcery already unleashed an uncompromising and punishing EP. Fifteen minutes of pure intense grind with a tiny hint of death, Plague Widow EP is disgustingly ferocious and absolutely relentless. With an intro track that is longer than 95% of the songs on the EP, Plague Widow aren't here to stick to formulas and genre boundaries - this is a group pushing what's expected of the grind blueprint. "Intro" fades in and out of harsh toned feedback, building into this crushing crescendo designed to make your ears rupture. Launching into "Womb" with a huge energy, the drums of Danny Hynes truly suffer under his pummeling beat with insanely quick blasts falling from beneath earth-shattering guitar work courtesy of Hal Rotter. Vocals are deep and dirty, and on occasion Marc Dickson throws out a terrifying shriek ("Assimilated Subconcious") that cuts right to the bone.
Sitting in the midst of this EP are two spoken word pieces - not something you're wont to come across with a band playing this style of grossly nasty grindcore madness, but then Plague Widow aren't your usual grindcore band. Using samples from Danny Boyle's Sunshine in "Abyss I" and taking excerpts from H.P. Lovecraft's Nyarlathotep for "Abyss II," the band build a sense of uneasy atmosphere. Wrapping the two pieces around unstoppable severity they might well seem massively out of place yet the pieces are so laden with a foreboding doom that they only serve to enhance the hidden depths of Plague Widow EP.
"Operating The Segmental Apparatus" sits a little more in the death metal arena, taking a slightly slower (although in reality it's still pretty darn quick) approach the track is different enough to everything that precedes it to make Plague Widow stand out that little bit more. The group let the death influence slide in here, along with that awful sense of dread ingrained in the mood of the song. It's in the slowdown and the swirling vortex created by the sudden change in pace, then the magnificently savage break into frenzy. Closing on a similar note to the opening, "Outro" radiates anxious white noise. A small chance to catch your breath after the previous twelves minutes of ruthless and harsh sounds. Vicious.
8.0 / 10
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