PLAGUE OF STARS
28th June 2019
Minneapolis (MN) – From the Midwest of the United States in the honeycrisp apple state of Minnesota, resides Plague of Stars, a gothic doom metal band with a twist. Formed in 2012, the lineup consists of longtime music veterans in the Minneapolis metal scene; singer Melissa Ferlaak (Aesma Daeva, Visions of Atlantis), guitarist Will Maravelas (We Are Legion, Coffinrot), drummer Aaron Lanik (We Are Legion, Figure of Merit), bassist Tim Morton (Dying Euphoria, Climatic), and guitarist Aaron Caulfield (The Omega Sequence, Witchden).
A few months ago, I was able to have a chat with the lovely Melissa to get some details about “Daedalus”, she explains the theme of the album will talk about how “technology is a tool of great strength, but it’s at the hands of mankind”, and the music being more of an array than the last due to each of the member's contributions to adding their own styles like trash, progressive, and death-meets-jazz-meets-everything (check out the interview here).
A Divide Essence
Baby in the Lightbulb Bath
The Lies and the Blind
I Wrote a Letter to Time
“Virus” kicks of the album with a deeply-rooted guitar solo by Maravelas before the song picks up speed, entering the voice of Ferlaak who flies through the doom melodies, defying the criticism of “classical does not mix with metal” with her amazing versatility! The lyrics tells about the grim fate of humanity that’s sets up the music what we will expect on the album. Next up, “Seven” takes on a more heavy and slow direction with the instrumentation than the opening track did, and Ferlaak becomes more expressive with her vibratos that adds color to the dark sounds that paints this song, while the soprano voice underneath the main vocal melody brings an eerie atmosphere. As we reach the halfway point to the song, the band strips the metal and becomes “doom acoustic”, showing the softer and raw side of this ever-changing metal band, but returns to shredding the listeners ears nearing the end with pure doom metal. The brooding title track “Daedalus” starts with a breakdown of the shredding guitars and progressive drumming with the additional sounds of the synths (by VoA Voxyd) that combines into creating this horror theme to the atmosphere, expressing the dangers of corrupted good intentions. Melissa’s storytelling haunts the music of manipulation and enslavement from technologies and how humankind can easily lose their morals. “Suffering” is where we get more of the raw side of the band with focus of trembling vibrations of Morton's bassline, and coming in like a barrage, “A Divisive Essence” with the heavy hitting forces that can put progressive listeners in a headbanging trance.
The standout title “Baby in the Lightbulb Bath” marches in with soaring lamenting vocals as the instruments crushes the music with hellish proportions about those in power dancing to the fingers of their puppet masters to the tune about destroying society and the truth. Unveiled in 2017, the 7 minute “The Lies and the Blind” is a dynamic song, the opening up with synths that reminds you of The Gathering's “Mandylion”, then goes Draconian as the electric guitar plays it’s strumming melody while the rhythm guitar shreds the surfaces, unveiling the heaviness of this track. While the last minute, tempo changes and breaks to a barrage of thrash and the following song “Glass Gaze” doesn’t lose the momentum while going for a more rhythmic pace. Finally, “I Wrote a Letter to Time” is a reminiscent to Ferlaak's previous band, Aesma Daeva, closing the album with a dystopian theme with Plague of Stars' genuine doom riffs.
While they may not be a big name outside of their home state of Minnesota, the band has qualities of reaching the biggest of potentials with it’s diverse sound in the metal spectrum with Melissa’s classical dynamic repertoire and the crushing sounds of doom, they do live up to their description of female-fronted genre-defying metal band.
I give Plague of Stars “Daedalus” a heavy 9 out of 10!
Melissa Ferlaak – vocals
Will Maravelas – guitars
Tim Morton – bass
Aaron Lanik – drums
Aaron Caulfield – guitars