Ok let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate, I’m a Thrasher and will always be a Thrasher. Going in to my trip to see Winds of Plague at Strummers in Fresno on 06/19 I knew I would be out of my element, possibly the oldest person there, and see something I have never seen before. All those things couldn’t have been truer.
I now believe I have an understanding of what Deathcore is. Take the wonderful sounds of your traditional Death Metal, mix them with the slow heavy break downs of Hardcore and there you have it. But Winds of Plague have added a twist, they have a keyboard player. So if you take those three things and add them up you really have something kind of unique.
Winds of Plague took to the stage around 10:00 p.m. after a few opening bands got the crowd loosened up and ready to go. And let me tell you what, they lived up to their name. It was dark, loud and brutal. The intimate crowd that gathered there that night went in to a frenzy of what I can only explain as violent interpretive dance. With an onslaught of flying kicks, spinning back fists, super punches and elbow smashes being thrown the “dance floor” wasn’t a safe place for the casual Metal fan to be. I have seen and been in some really great Mosh pits over the years, and occasionally people get hurt, this Deathcore show had quit a few bleeders there that night and this old Thrasher was not one of them. But those young people in the Hardcore scene loved it!
Johnny Plague’s vocals from the first growl had the crowd eating out of his hand. I was really impressed with how well he sounded live. Anybody can sound good on a record; but he was powerful and heavy all the way through. The band was also fierce and incredibly diverse. For the amount of tempo changes they go through within a song they didn’t missed a beat or riff from what I could tell that night. Now for the twist, let’s speak of Alana the keyboard player. Keyboards in Metal may sound odd, but it works. Her keyboards fit in like a hand in glove. Haunting, creepy and at time classical sounding tones were pumped out of that keyboard and she sounded amazing.
Johnny at the end of the night told the crowd this was a “testing the waters” type of tour and the response has been all positive. If Winds of Plague has been out of the scene for a bit it doesn’t look like they have lost a step. This band has a little bit of everything in it, I heard aspects of Death Metal, Hardcore, some Thrash riffs and even the occasional Classical. I’m a Thrasher at heart, but first and foremost I am a Metal fan. And this Metal fan hopes that Winds of Plague continue to work on their craft and I look forward to hearing new music from them soon.
Review by Gene A. Gaona Photo by @girlwolf