It's a good time to be a Christian metal fan right now. It seems everywhere you turn, more new metal is being released, and you may have a hard time picking which band to buy. Well, here's some more music to choose from. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee band A Plea For Purging has released their sophomore album on Facedown Records, entitled Depravity.
A Plea For Purging's musical approach can best be described as August Burns Red with less breakdowns and somewhat more straightforward song structure. The vocals are low and very guttural, which sounds good for the most part, as long as they are supported by the instrumentation. By themselves, as we hear briefly in the third track "Malevolence," they sound somewhat strained and forced. The guitars chug along in the typical metalcore style, occasionally breaking out into some fast runs or high, more ethereal accompaniment. Every once in a while, an electronic feel will emerge briefly, which is a nice touch. The overall sound is solid and exactly what the listener would expect from a metalcore band.
Unfortunately, A Plea For Purging has one very obvious flaw that affects the entire album. There is very little variation between tracks, especially where rhythm is concerned, and at some point every song becomes a slow, grinding growl that drags for longer than is warranted. By the time the listener gets to the final track, everything has started to sound the same. Occasionally the band does manage to produce an energetic sound that can carry the track through, without getting boring. The aforementioned "Malevolence" is definitely the high point of Depravity, bringing a consistent energy that mounts very nicely into a soaring chorus. "Traitor," "Motives," and "Retribution" are also solid efforts. Yet, the other tracks do not always measure up.
A Plea For Purging is a talented band that could use some more experience in songwriting before they will be able to unleash their full potential. It is definitely nice to hear a band that isn't entirely committed to endless breakdowns. In that sense, Depravity possesses a refreshing sound. At the same time, this is a flawed album. Metal fans looking for new music will be justified in purchasing Depravity, but they should expect only an average effort.- Review date: 3/2/09, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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