Against the World opens with an introductory track (“Raise the Dead”) that, with a single repeated refrain, sounds an awful lot like a nursery rhyme, a la “1, 2, Freddie’s after you; 3, 4, better lock your door…” from A Nightmare on Elm Street. From there, we slide into track two, “One for the Butcher,” which, yet again, you’ll find another nursery rhyme in the vocal melody – this time it’s “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.” This track has a shit-ton of muted riffing, that Earth-shattering bass blast from time to time, and choral chanting via the synth. The outro features a beautiful piano piece.
I’m aware that I haven’t painted a very convincing picture of Winds of Plague, so I’ll say that as a former soldier in the U.S. Army, I’m a sucker for the hardcore lyrics that support our troops, and even those songs that Service members adopt as their anthems. Winds of Plague support our troops, I think. I’m basing this assumption on the following lyrics:
“Built for War” – Soldier of fortune, an Army of One./Battle-born, I’m a motherfucking patriot./I write to you from this recon to hell./Been recruited from this Generation Kill, Kill, Kill.
“Refined in Fire” – I walk this Earth alone, with broken bones./I fear no evil, evil fucking fears me./Your time has come, looking down the barrel of a smoking gun./I am the shattered one./Evil fucking fears me! Evil fucking fears me!/Refined in the fire, from the flames I emerge./Death is here. I am refined in the fire./From the flame we march on, to victory!
“Built for War,” featuring Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), opens with, yes, some more chant and some strings, and then some cadence between Art Cruz (drums) and the guitars before exploding into total aggression. Half way through the song, just after hearing Jasta make his presence known, we’re treated to one of the coolest breakdowns I’ve heard in a while. But it’s Jasta at the end of the track that steals the show, and the band full on supports him, upping the intensity and riffage.
“Refined in Fire” is all about kicking ass, and as such the track kicks ass. There’s not a lot to say about it though; it’s balls-out riffage, crash cymbals, great vocal aggression, etc. It’s simple and a standout track.
“Drop the Match” opens like an apocalypse movie with a montage of news reports of bad news. Then Johnny Plague comes in with a very hip-hop “Here we go, here we go.” Again another standout track despite bordering on Limp Bizkit influence from time to time. It’s a total pit song. “Burn this motherfucker down!”
In order to avoid becoming redundant, I’m going to let you discover the rest of this heavy, kick-ass album on your own.
Verdict: If you’re looking for something heavy, fun, and full of aggression get Against the World. It’s not taking home any awards and may start to collect dust after a few listens, but surely some of these tracks could end up on your playlist for the gym.