North-eastern UK quintet Plague Rider describe themselves as a technical death metal band, conceived in February last year by core founder members, guitarists Jake Bielby and Dan Alderson, and drummer Matthew Henderson. Following the odd line-up change, the line-up was soon completed by vocalist Jamie Brown and bassist Lee Anderson, and their four-track debut demo, ‘Genetic Devolution’, soon followed.
‘Genetic Devolution’, made available by the band at the very back end of 2011, isn’t the finest demo I’ve ever heard, in terms of production quality or all-round end product, but there’s still plenty of potential to be found. There’s plenty of ideas but occasionally it appears to run out of steam, the instrumental ‘Nocturnal Awakening’ being one example which perhaps could’ve done with a little more variation within less time. They do hit the mark on a couple of occasions though, the title track opening with an interesting spoken word intro eerily proclaiming that ‘the world is a much more interesting place with people like you in it…’, before vocalist Jamie unleashes a blood-curdling scream to kick off a thoroughly pounding song. The same can be said of the self-titled end track, ‘Plague Rider’, which benefits in much the same way the title track does; from being more direct and not so exhaustive.
Currently Plague Rider seem a little rough around the edges, which is no bad thing at all at this stage. Their death metal does have a few technical flourishes but doesn’t go too weedly-weedly and does seem to feature more of a distinct death-thrash sound, very much the sum of their influences. The band are aiming to record their debut album in 2012 and looking to perform at plenty of gigs up and down the country as they work towards that goal. Despite its occasional flaws, this is still a solid, indeed savage demo and well worthy of any curious metal fan’s interest, and a sound base for these guys to work from.
Last.fm(demo also available here)