REVIEW: Sorrow Plagues – Homecoming


Sorrow Plagues is the brainchild of British musician David Lovejoy, who typically delivers atmospheric black metal. This new album ‘Homecoming’ marks Lovejoy’s second album and this time he dares to explore and venture into unexpected territory, expanding his elaborate black metal, this time throwing in elements of post-rock and more mainstream sounds.

The first song to kick things off is new single ‘Departure’ which opens on a resonant upbeat and impressive guitar intro. It immediately possesses a dreamy and ethereal atmosphere, aided through the textured instrumentation. The buoyant sounding instruments give it a more mainstream vibe, but Lovejoy’s dark distant shouts lurk in the backdrop to balance the light and the dark. The instruments remain at the forefront and make for a very compelling and impactful start. The song is about self-actualization and leaving behind the things that are holding you back in life, so it takes you on a great reflective path and the tones match this. Coming in at over seven minutes long, it is a rather epic introduction and scene setter for the album.

‘Disillusioned’ flows on nicely from the opener and again has that all consuming far-reaching sound, in what is the longest song featured on the album. It has a grand feel to it, with an air of optimism as before, which is very refreshing to see in this black metal rooted album. It is questionable if this can even be categorised as this at times, at is so serene and beautiful throughout, but maintains a dark essence through the bleak vocals.

‘Isolated’ has some of the most memorable and catchy riffs going, keeping up the light very positive sound, whilst ‘Irreversible’ packs a harder punch with a large almost symphonic sound.  It is extremely tuneful, with great rhythms which further highlight Lovejoy’s technical skills. First single ‘Relinquish’ soars from the off and dances around in epic glorious tones with menacing anguished screams to accompany, something there is no shortage off throughout, but it works wonderfully.

To close this insightful and cathartic journey is the title track ‘Homecoming’ which opens on an atmospheric quiet intro before later throwing in a curveball in the form of unexpected saxophones – definitely not something you expect to find on a metal album. This certainly stands out, and is both very pleasing and confusing. It ends on some of the most depthful and layered instrumentation seen on the album, making for the perfect closer.

This is not your typical black metal act, this is something new and exciting and should certainly be praised for this interesting exploration of sounds. It is very meaningful and layered through the instrumentation and lyrics, which looks at many aspects of the human experience, including death, loneliness and regret. The focus of the album is about finding strength and resolution through these difficult situations. This takes you on an unforeseen path and is a pleasure to listen to, whilst contemplating life and letting the resonant tones wash over you and take you away into a dream state. Lovejoy should be proud of what he has accomplished here.

SCORE: 4/5

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