Release date: 02-06-2023
Man As Plague have been around for a while, with their debut album “Aftermath” hitting the scene back in 2015. Now, the band is set to unleash their third album, a release we’ve been waiting for. While the pandemic may have put a halt to most live performances, it also gave the band more than enough time to refine and craft new tracks. They’re preparing to unleash their music with full force later this week at their own mini-festival, aptly named Plague Fest vol. 1, with hopes of many more volumes to come. We were lucky enough to be able to hear the full album before the release.
Titanomachy offers 13 tracks that weave together Greek mythology and the current state of the world. The album artwork, skillfully crafted by Roberto Toderico, matches the mood of the tracks, much like the previous two albums from the band. The dark and modern hand-drawn imagery seamlessly complements the musical blend that Man As Plague creates. While three tracks have already been released prior to the album launch, there are still 10 fresh tracks to listen to.
Man As Plague combines death metal, deathcore, and hardcore, blending them into a hard and heavy mixture layered with synthesizers. The album has a lot of low, groovy riffs, occasional breakdowns, and, above all, feels a lot heavier than the band’s previous works. Known for their high-energy live performances, Man As Plague captured that same energy in “Titanomachy”.
The guitar and bass deliver a clear and crunchy tone, while the drums maintain tightness throughout, despite the complex tempo changes and challenging sections amidst the heavy riffs. The multiple layers of each instrument, including vocals, come together to form a massive wall of sound, showcasing a level of professionalism akin to bands signed to major labels. The synth programming and recording by David Hazeleger and Michiel van Zanen, as well as the mixing by David, are commendable. With the longest track clocking in at 4 minutes and 30 seconds, you can expect the energy to remain consistently high.
About the tracks
While I don’t want to spoil the whole album, I feel some tracks deserve a mention.
Titanomachy, for instance. The band immediately jumps into full force with this explosive opening track. No need for an intro: they dive straight into a wall of sound. The track maintains a mid-tempo pace, featuring djenty guitar shreds. Tim’s deep grunts match the heavy drums and low bass well.
Sisyphus is the first new track I hear on this album. The track again incorporates synth lines in the intro, almost delving into progressive/industrial metal territory. Sisyphus cranks up the energy and volume even more. The track has a more mature sound that reminds me of another Dutch Deathcore band, Distant, due to its aggression and prominent use of heavy synths.
Prometheus kicks off with a nostalgic nod to 80s tv series but quickly transitions back into the realm of deathcore. The track borders between industrial and progressive metal, evident in the synth lines, time signature changes, and the inclusion of open chords and soundscapes. Because of this, it might be one of my favorites.
The Observer features a circle pit riff halfway through the song that I would love to see performed live. And last but not least, Void, which starts of like a party track anticipating a Wall of Death. Man As Plague create a party wherever they are, and with tracks like these, there is no way the audience won’t move.
Titanomachy is an great album, featuring 13 tracks of consistent quality. After listening to it a few times, my personal favorites are Prometheus and Morpheus. However I also need to mention the intro track Titanomachy, which has earned its spot in the top three. I’ve found myself replaying that track at least 25 times since its release. If you’re a fan of deathcore and modern metal, you should be adding Man as Plague to your playlist.