Jun 152023

We’ve closely followed the releases of Ohio’s Plaguewielder almost from the band’s inception, not only for the obvious reason that we’ve found the music consistently compelling but also because the progression from one release to the next has never been entirely predictable.

To be sure, dark shadows have consistently swathed the music, and it has been continuously fueled by harrowing emotional intensity. As we observed in reviewing their most recent album, the remarkable Covenant Death, “feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and fury have always seem to be fighting to get out into the songs”.

But, especially as revealed on that latest album, the band’s stylistic ingredients have become increasingly multi-faceted. That album was still music as catharsis, as Plaguewielder‘s music always has been, but the range of musical influences expanded outward in captivating ways.

We’ve learned that Plaguewielder are at work on their next album, which will have the evocative title In Dust and Ash, and we will again be eager (and intrigued) to hear it. But in the meantime Plaguewielder are bridging the gap between full-lengths with a new EP named Burning Death (set for release tomorrow via Jeff Wilson‘s disorder-recordings), and once again it holds surprises. Continue reading »

Jul 032021

(In this new edition of Andy Synn‘s interview series devoted to lyrics in metal, he got input from Bryce Seditz of the Ohio band Plaguewielder.)

We – and that’s the collective we, not the royal we – have been big fans and followers of Ohio Blackened Sludge-bringers Plaguewielder for quite some time now.

You may even recall that we were lucky enough to host the premiere of their latest (and greatest) album, Covenant Death, back in March – and I can confidently say that it’s still one of my favourite albums of the year so far.

So, for this particular edition of Waxing Lyrical I/we thought it was high time we caught up with Plaguewielder vocalist/guitarist Bryce Seditz to find out exactly what it is that fuels the band’s thematic fire. Continue reading »

Mar 312021


We’ve been following the progress of Ohio’s Plaguewielder since discovering their 2017 single “Writhing in Mental Torment” almost exactly four years ago — a single that was the first release after their 2015 debut album Succumb to the Ash. The name of that single captured a through-line that continued emerging in the band’s music in the following years, feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and fury that always seemed to be fighting to get out into the songs — music as catharsis.

But the music itself has changed over the years, as Plaguewielder has found increasingly multi-faceted and expansive means of expression. In its creative evolution Plaguewielder has reached an apotheosis in Covenant Death, the album that we’re proud to premiere in full today. Undeniably the band’s best work yet, it’s also one of the most striking and memorable works yet to emerge in this still young and still wretched second year of the plague. Continue reading »

Jun 252019


It’s unlikely that you’re unfamiliar with Plaguewielder if you’ve been a frequent visitor at our putrid site, because we’ve paid a lot of attention to them over the course of a career that now includes two albums, including 2018’s excellent Surrender To the Void (reviewed here). They describe themselves as “a three-piece blackened sludge outfit from a decrepit mill town in Ohio”, an extreme metal power trio “embodying the misery of our times and the determination of Ohio’s forgotten working class”.

The band have a multitude of influences that come through in their viscerally powerful music, and they’ve now completed work on a new EP that both pays tribute to some of them and gives their fans a hard strike of vicious new material. Entitled Suffering From Self-Inflected Wounds, it includes covers of G.G. Allen‘s punk anthem “Bite It You Scum,” as well as working-class blues legend Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”, plus three original songs. Today we’re presenting one of those original compositions, and it’s the new EP’s raging title track. Continue reading »

Jun 082019


I managed to get Part 2 of this Saturday round-up finished in time to actually post it on Saturday, leaving the field wide open tomorrow for a SHADES OF BLACK column, which also might be a two-parter, and a Sunday premiere. The five songs I chose for Part 1 were consistently high-energy, full-throttle attacks, but the songs I’ve selected for this second installment are much more variable. There is also (gasp!) a healthy helping of clean or almost-clean singing to be found here, but I think you’ll find that it earns the exceptions to our Rule.


I thought for sure I had written about Heilung before today, but can find no evidence of it. I know that I meant to, because I have been fascinated by their past music. But if this is the first occasion, it’s a worthy one, because their new song “Traust” is simply fantastic. Continue reading »

Aug 152018


By Plaguewielder’s own description, they’re “a three piece blackened sludge outfit from a decrepit mill town in Ohio”. As you might guess from that choice of words, the music on their new album Surrender To the Void is capable of descending to oppressive levels of torment and hopelessness, riddled with pain and a sense of bleak, hollow-eyed resignation. But that’s not all their music is about. It’s also fiery and fierce, with a bare-knuckled and bruising defiance in its sounds that’s capable of getting your heart racing and your head moving hard. And that still doesn’t exhaust where they take their songs, because there’s also something mystical about them, with strains of otherworldly melody that suggest visions beyond crumbling masonry, rusting equipment, and broken lives.

Plaguewielder’s success in creating such changing moods and musical textures in these seven tempo-dynamic, powerfully evocative tracks makes the album well worth hearing, and it’s one that does a great job keeping a tight grip on your attention throughout its running time. Continue reading »

Jul 182018


Here are four songs, two of which come with videos, from forthcoming albums that I’m pretty excited about. A slew of other songs have appeared since late last week that I’m also excited about, and no doubt more will appear today. The thorny garden of metal is riotously fecund. We poor harvesters with bleeding fingers and bleeding ears can’t keep up, try as we might.


Ohio’s Plaguewielder made an eye-opening debut with their 2015 album Succumb To Ash on Dullest Records. They followed that last year with a single named “Writhing In Mental Torment“, which I had some positive things to say about, and just a few days ago they released another new single, “In Depths of Cold Hell“, which is a prelude to a new album entitled Surrender To the Void that will be released on August 12th. Continue reading »

May 162017


Due in part to yet another mini-vacation this past weekend, an entire week has passed since the last time I was able to compile a round-up of new songs and videos, though my comrade DGR helped fill that gap with a compilation of notable death metal yesterday. As a consequence of so many days passing, I have a massive list of new things I’d like to recommend.

Confronted with such a daunting task, I just gave in to impulse, which is par for the course. And today’s impulse was to focus only on some of new music I heard for the first time today — which means that massive list is no shorter than it was before I started writing this post. With luck, I’ll have time during the balance of this week to do some picking and choosing from it for another edition of SEEN AND HEARD.


As previously reported here, the Swedish black metal band Svartsyn have a new album named In Death that’s scheduled for release by Agonia Records on June 9th. The first single, which I wrote about in that earlier post, was a stunner named “Seven Headed Snake“, and this morning brought a second track — “Black Thrones of Death“. It’s left me even more excited about this new album. Continue reading »