40 min. 29 sec.
02 union of egoists
03 fast alles
05 calling a spade a spade
06 last home
08 reprobates part II
09 new wings
10 giving up
11 la vie vivante
12 unter menschen
transparent clear vinyl & gatefold artwork
in cooperation with crimethink inc., epidemic records, brainache records, dogknightproductions
Here’s the last one from the superb batch recently sent by Noise Appeal Records. If you paid attention to our reviews section last week, you noticed I wrote about a couple of releases by Plague Mass, an exceptional Austrian crustcore band. After talking about their 7″ EP with Worlds Between Us and Living Among Meat Eaters LP, it’s time for Union Of Egoists LP. It’s the third and final full-length, but after that, the band members formed more good bands like Light Bearer, Børedøm, Krösus, Stafplanet, Devil With A Gun, Gurlfirends, Pilots, Momentum, Carnist, Archivist, etc. It’s also good to mention that Noise Appeal Records collaborated with Crimethinc, Start A Fire Records, Brain Ache Records, Epidemic Records, and Dog Knight Records on this one.
Union Of Egoists pretty much continues where the bend left off with Living Among Meat Eaters. Plague Mass delivered their already established sound, but it seems this one leaned much more towards neo-crust and blackened crust than their other recordings. Of course, you can expect plenty of classic hardcore, metalcore, and post-hardcore moments along the way, but Union Of Egoists bursts with a much darker atmosphere. It’s also more abrasive, melodic, and dynamic material than its preceding releases, so if you’re into early 2000s neo-crust, crustcore, blackened crust recordings, this material should be right up your alley. As usual, Plague Mass gave their best effort while writing, composing, recording, and producing these songs, so each composition bursts with tremendous power, speed, catchy melodies, riffs, and other qualities that define the best crustcore releases.
Although Living Among Meat Eaters is probably my favorite album, I must say Union Of Egoists stands right beside it, mainly because Plague Mass managed to uplift all their qualities on an entirely new level. Union Of Egoists bought my attention because of that thick layer of nearly depressive atmosphere achieved by cleverly assembled melodies and harmonies. This particular ambiance goes perfectly with their detailed lyricism that describes all the problems of society, which are relevant even today, more than ten years since the release of this material. Perhaps these are the same old topics repetitiously covered by many similar bands in the past, but Plague Mass somehow managed to wrap them up in a more unique form than others and it perfectly suits the ambiance, dynamics, and aggression of this album. Union Of Egoists is still available as the part of Plague Mass bundle. Don’t miss this one if you’re into perfectly executed crustcore sound. Head to Noise Appeal Records for more information about ordering.
Auf dem vierten Album einen komplett neuen Kurs einzuschlagen, ist sicher nicht üblich und auch Plague Mass machen es nicht. Allerdings haben sie Tempo rausgenommen, versuchen sich mehr an kratzigeren Songs und werden immer olitischer.
Im direkten Vergleich zu „Living Among Meat Eaters“ klingt „Union Of Egoists“ mehr nach Crust als zuvor und ist auch weniger schnell, weniger schnell langweilig vor allem. Engagierter und gleichzeitig dunkler sind es geworden, wie die älteren beiden Alben. Dabei helfen auch die Texte mit, die nur noch bei einem Song auf Deutsch sind. Kompromisslos linksradikal und desillusioniert klagen sie an und verstecken sich nie hinter einem poetischen Feigenblatt. Im Stile von Catharsis lehnen sie strikt Gesellschaft wie Staat ab und geben sich stark antikapitalistisch. Musikalisch passt der langsamere und auch erwachsenere Kurs dazu bestens, ein episches Intro zur zweiten Seite leitet so zum Beispiel wunderbar dazu ein, wenn neue Höllenwände niedergerissen werden.
Die Österreicher arbeiten konsequent an sich selber und haben hier eine starke Kampfansage in Albumform am Start. Schön ist, dass ihnen auch mit weniger Raserei der Schnauf nicht ausgeht. Moderner Hardcore wie er sein soll.
Das Album ist im übrigen nur als Vinyl-Ausgabe erhältlich. by reto
Take Tradegy and His Hero Is Gone, mix in some Rise And Fall and Catharsis and a bit of metal and there you have Plague Mass. This brutal, crusty new school punk outfit comes out from Austria and spreads their music by their first full length on Epidemic records called Union Of Egoists.??This record contains twelve songs and before you know it you will be squashed under the weight of those twelve songs. I can’t really say, the lyrics really grabbed me, but the music is too brutal not to be noticed.??The production sounded good, nice and thick but fragile and raw when needed. The artwork was a bit to simplistic and not very appealing.??This record is not something I would play every day, but I enjoyed it and I think fans of similar bands will enjoy this too. An interesting band and a promising record, hopefully they can shape up a bit more and make a record that no one can ignore. 3,5/5
A Short Fanzine About Rocking
Austrians Plague Mass service up a sometimes-frighteningly-intense brand of hardcore noise on what’s their debut album, with the vocals in particular lending a devilish edge to a sound that’s grounded in hardcore but also brings an obvious love of both punk and metal to the table. I don’t think it’s be unfair to label their lyrical content as ‘wordy’, but it’s refreshing to have a lyric sheet that actually offers you something to think about even if, in terms of actual vocal performance, the delivery is so harsh it’s hard to pick out the nuances of the lyrics straight-away. Still, that intensity lends itself well to the band’s ferocious music, which ranges from the more straight-ahead, Rise & Fall-esque raging numbers like ‘Last Home’, via a more punk’n’roll feel on tracks such as ‘Filth’, through to the slower-paced discordant final track ‘Unter Menschen’. Perhaps my only criticism is the inclusion of an overlong instrumental, ‘Versus’, which, while not boring as such, perhaps breaks the flow of the album a bit more than necessary. That’s a minor quibble though, and doesn’t do much to blight an album that’s definitely worth picking up if you happen to like your hardcore to be fast, ferocious and fuelled by righteous rage.
‘Each thing cares for itself And I admit, so do I.
Certainly, I care for you and I care for this world
But I do so for my own sake
And don’t you do so for your own sake?
Despite – or perhaps because of – this fact
I can honestly say I care.’
This is the new Plague Mass album and I’m really excited to review this because I consider Plague Mass as one of the best european hardcore (all styles included) bands. I still remember watching live their predecessors Pledge Alliance in Thessaloniki back in 2002 or 2003… So, Plague Mass (I guess they may have taken their band name by the same-titled Diamanda Galas song) is the continuation of Pledge Alliance also feat. ex-Antimaniax, Once Tasted Life and Jan feat. UDSSR members. They are based in Austria and have released a couple of more albums and 12″s. I hope that some of you attended their greek shows back in 2008; I did not thanks to my army service…
Let’s get back to the record; Plague Mass wrote Union Of Egoists being undoubtedly influenced by Max Stirner’s ‘The Ego and Its Own’ (Der Einzige und sein Eingentum) philosophical work, and this is obvious especially in the lyrics insert, where a quote is written.
Moreover, I dunno if it’s a coincidence, but the cover of the album reminds me of Catharsis’ ‘Passion’… And by the way, Crimethinc. Collective is involved in the release (Plague Mass are touring USA next February along with From The Depths; members of whom are involved in Crimethinc.)…
But I guess, this is way too much trivia…
Musically, Plague Mass mix a lot of influences, including crust, dark hardcore / punk, metal, post-hardcore etc. They are into both Catharsis and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Their blend is unique and really really catchy. I definitely love their sound. And I dig their devilish vocals, as well, hehe!
Lyrically, they are into personal stuff, some poetry and of course social & political lyrics. But even their political lyrics are written in a philosophical approach. They demonstrate a vegetarian / vegan way of life, while they are into anarchism.
This is an awesome record, get it asap.
‘Je crois en toi’