Plaguelands is a depressive black metal project from San Diego, California. The Illusion of Light is the debut album from this mysterious project that has little to no information. The album is cold, dark and somber, envoking feelings of depression and sadness with it’s raw tones and dissonant style. In similar fashion to Xasthur and Lifelover, this release is like staring into a dark void within yourself and pulling up all the darkest emotions you can experience. Tracks like the intro song The River and instrumental track titled Begotten are hauntingly melodic and eerie as they transition between the more black metal laden tracks such as The Illusion of Light and To Feel Nothing.
The highlights of this album have to be the mixture of beauty and darkness, somber but evil still. Keeping in the traditional black metal sound and tones, the pain and anger can be felt within the vocals which pierce through strong enough without being overbearing. The riffs follow traditional DSBM style while also blending a more post-black metal pattern. Another highlight is moments of haunting melodies that weave between the chaos as they are unique and add a chilling atmosphere to the mix.
I think Plaguelands have really put hard work into this release as it is an emotional, depressive and hauntingly beautiful journey. Everything is perfectly balanced from the raw and evil black metal moments to the somber and dark melodies that dance between the chaos, this album is truly a masterpiece in the black metal world. If you are a fan of Xasthur, Lifelover, and Nocturnal Depression then this band is one to keep an eye on. I look forward to hearing more from them.
If you want to give Plaguelands a listen and grab a copy of The Illusion of Light, click here to download it from their Bandcamp and be sure to donate if you can.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Neil Andersen