Coming from Detroit, Plague Years is already facing an uphill battle which has very little to do with the squalor that remains in some sections of that blessed area south of 8 Mile and west of Redford, despite the cultural whitewashing of Midtown, and more to do with the ridiculous amount of talent already shat forth from Southeastern Michigan’s rust-belted bowels. Rebel Spies, Shitfucker, and Nocturnal Fear come to mind, to say nothing of Octopus and Acid Witch, so you see what the quartet is up against.
Thankfully, Unholy Infestation delivers. The title track takes its time getting started, but once it does, strap yourself in for a lightning ride, kiddos. Reminiscent of Coffins (think Buried Death) in moments, it’s when the DRI-meets-early-Sepultura chorus kicks in that you hear where the band’s true strength lies, divebombing leads screaming through a positively burly, robust production.
It’s passion over proficiency for the most part here, which is ideal for the sort of thrashed-out death that’s on offer. “Hellborn” rancidly rages, Tim Englehardt conjuring the spirit of pre-suck Tom Araya with his guttural, gurgled haranguing, while “Aeon Of The Serpent” marries lockstep riff to Cause Of Death Obituary rhythms and thus becomes this writer’s pick of the album. A rampaging “Taker Of Life” careens into the finale of “Infernal Torment” putting in the finishing kick in the teeth such an album demands.
At just under a half hour’s playing time, one gets the feeling there’s plenty left to be heard from Plague Years. I, for one, think they’re onto something. I’m leveling this review up a full point simply due to the band keeping things interesting within the confines of an often carbon-copied sub-genre.