PLAGUE WARHEAD, Whores of Lucifer (2011, Godeater)
If I’m reading into the deeply embedded subtext correctly, the upside crosses represent Lucifer and the skull is the whore. The skull’s eye holes are being penetrated by nine lascivious crosses — and a huge dagger cleaving through the skull’s head for good measure. This is perhaps the grossest violation of a skull’s orifices we have ever seen here at Big Dumb Skulls, although one wonders: why not some hot and nasty penetration of the nasal cavity? It’s a gaping hole just waiting to be sullied. Or maybe it’s just a skull with a bunch of crosses stuffed into its eyes — no pornographic overtones whatsoever. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, right? But that’s no fun…and that’s how hardened we’ve become here at BDS. Now anything less than nine crosses fucking dry eyeless sockets is going to seem pedestrian.
While they can confidently be called “death metal,” Plague Warhead’s riffing and drumming are far more thrash metal than the norm, so it is that the band are often dubbed “death/thrash.” And while calling Plague Warhead death/thrash automatically makes them seem unappealing (because of the zillions of death/thrash bands that suck), these guys are quite good at their chosen craft. It’s so 2002 up in this joint! There’s some particularly good bass playing and a few hair-raising moments of Slayer-esque dissonance in “Forces of Evil” (bet you’ve never seen a song title like that before), and again, they’re going to satisfy metal fans that want this exact sort of thing — they’re certainly better than 90% of other bands in this vein. That said, Plague Warhead delivers not a damn bit of individual personality to their music, so one listen and I’m done. Benny Larsson (Edge of Sanity, Pan-Thy-Monium) is the drummer here, and while I wouldn’t say he’s totally slumming, I’d say he’s mostly slumming. But when you’ve been in two bands that godly, where do you go from there? Plague Warhead, I guess. I’ll be waiting for them to write a song called “The Skull is the Whore,” and then — and only then — will I listen again.
— Friar Wagner