At the end of 2018, I had the extreme pleasure to review Plague Years’ EP, Unholy Infestation. Back then, I described them as a death metal-infused crossover monster with a shockingly mature sound that became one of my favorites of the year for its niche sound and songwriting. I would very much love to believe that the band read my review and thought, “…well, SURE, it’s pretty good. But we can do it even better.” Because that’s what their newest, Circle of Darkness, sounds like. I am once again reminded of a quote I will slightly paraphrase: Circle of Darkness is a fantastic record like Unholy Infestation, but more so. Take a listen:

Man, those riffs are crunchy enough to snack on for an afternoon of death metal and football. The term “sink your teeth into” immediately comes to mind for me. There’s so much substance there that you can’t just cast it aside and ignore it. You have to stay tuned for every note and riff and verse and solo because they’re just too good and there only so many times you can rewind a track. I don’t know what the limits are, but you’ll be testing them if you’re down for some gnarly death metal and skull-bashing crossover in the same record. And now the production quality is really top of the line professional grade, so Circle of Darkness sounds like what the band was meant to truly achieve. It’s just the loveliest little barbed wire-wrapped package.

If you missed 2018’s Unholy Infestation, you’re a lucky listener. You get an extra dose of this stuff. If you need your metal razor sharp and ultra hot, look no further. The Detroit quartet has it all in spades. I didn’t say it when I first reviewed them, but I think this record could be the beginning of a truly fun career for the band and fantastic listening for the rest of us. Need something to kick your ass in gear today? Getcha some Plague Years.