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Review: The Ziggurat - The Plague of the Pallid Mask
The Ziggurat
The Plague of the Pallid Mask

Label: Tigris Productions
Year released: 2008
Duration: 49:59
Tracks: 11
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 1, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Plague of the Pallid Mask

Rated 4.23/5 (84.62%) (13 Votes)

This is the killer follow-up to The Ziggurat's excellent debut album Hymns to the Cthulhu Mythos, and while it shows some definite evolution from the highly primitive sound of their early work, said evolution has been in the direction of kicking more ass. Still as obsessed with Lovecraft as ever, The Ziggurat have expanded their sound into new territory with The Plague of the Pallid Mask.

This is heavier and better-produced than the debut, and features somewhat less Thrash influence, in place of that we get a whole lot of Trad Metal inspired riffing, as on "The Hickman Cemetery Horror", which actually rocks with fistfuls of old-school, air-guitar riffs. The song "Chocolate Shoggoth Shake" does have extremely silly lyrics, but the song itself kills, and it's more than made up for by bad-ass incantations like "The Initiate" and "Into The Dank Abyss". The vocals of mainman Dwayne Boyd are a sepulchral growl that you can actually understand, so you can howl along when he's bellowing about Yog-Sothoth. The band seems dedicated to fusing old-school Heavy Metal riffs with a Death Metal sensibility, which makes them sound a bit like stripped-down bands like Morningstar, Warhammer, or other such Venom-inspired bands, but The Ziggurat have a more complex songwriting aesthetic than that, and these songs are not simplistic beer-and-satan compositions.

By going back to an almost NWOBHM style of riffing, The Ziggurat manage to make their Death Metal rock without actually making it 'death rock', what they do make it is galloping headbang fuel of the first order. I can't understand why a great band like this is still without a label when so many shit bands get signed every day. The Ziggurat might just be the best Death Metal band you've never heard of, and if you are a fan at all I highly recommend this album.

Other related information on the site
Review: Hymns of the Cthulhu Mythos (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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