The opening track “Mills” is four minutes of tension, just straight walls of unbreakable and uninhabitable wastelands similar to a horror movie where a jump-scare would occur. Now imagine for the next four minutes, Altar Of Plagues concurrently is off-screen to the audience, whittling away on an intricate delivery of dread encompassed by sound. All that is prominent is the consistent eerie synth and the punch of an 808 bass that builds up into a more authentic percussive delivery.
When the transition to “God Alone” bears teeth and Altar Of Plagues true form can be revealed to the audience, Teethed Glory And Injury is a warped monster of blackened wings and eyes but an impressive reach. Almost as if the band was able to pull the audience through the speakers, Altar Of Plagues feels immaculately powerful here and wants a witness to crush. “God Alone” is carried by these slashes of distortion that cut wildly into the mix. Through confusion being the main ally of Altar Of Plagues, the pulverizing instrumentation is focused and a dream to follow.
With Dave Condon on the vocals and bass, he joins Johnny King on percussion, and James Kelly on the vocals and guitars, but also the keys which are attuned to fill most of the ungodly barriers of sound here. For a black metal record, the track lengths never reach too far past the four-minute mark with only three tracks ever gracing over. These tracks, especially “A Remedy And A Fever” are etchings in the evil that surround themselves in crunches and clipping from the mix that aids into their desolation-esque outlook.
“A Remedy And A Fever” spends much of the four-minute introduction as a shouting contest into the void until the levee breaks and immediately the instrumentation consumes the speakers. Bordering on both the agonizing and the occult, Altar Of Plagues are a twisted joy to be in awe of. At some portions, they are focused entirely on the destructive nature like an atom bomb of percussive and stringed isolation, then at times, they can switch to grace the listener with sections of metallic beauty. Something that seems so daunting shouldn’t be allowed to be this motivational and pushing toward a light.
That light might immediately be suffocated in the next sectional, but their progressions in performance and sound here on Teethed Glory And Injury are fantastic. Altar Of Plagues can not only bring hell to the ears, but they can glorify the presence of hope in the same hands.