Plague Years to release debut full-length album “Circle of Darkness” on May 22nd 2020

Plague Years Circle of Darkness cover
Michigan-based crossover death thrashers Plague Years will unleash their punishing “Circle of Darkness” full-length via Entertainment One (eOne) on May 22nd, 2020.

Like an icepick to the face, Plague Years arrives with an electric surge of sudden pain. An unrelenting end of the world assault of the cataclysmic convergence of thrash and hardcore, with bits of blackened death and mid-tempo madness to spare, the Detroit master blasters are here to crash the crossover party. Summoning the primitive spirit of the singular moment when the heaviest of metal first smashed into a circle pit, Plague Years reignites the flame with sharp fury.

Many in the metal press have already christened the band heir apparent to crossover standard bearers Iron Age and D.R.I., with the speed metal bite of Kreator and the overall bludgeoning of “Slowly We Rot”-era Obituary. As demonstrated in dimly-lit clubs and theaters alongside bands like Creeping Death and Skeletal Remains, Plague Years mines the subterranean depths once unearthed on classic Sepultura albums like “Beneath the Remains” and “Arise”, with the vicious bite of Germanic slabs like “In the Sign of Evil” by Sodom and the Hall of Fame 80s output of Slayer. Fellow Great Lakes State metal maven Trevor Strnad, of The Black Dahlia Murder, named the band’s “Unholy Infestation” EP one of his 100 favorites of 2018, a sentiment echoed by another scribe at Metal Injection the same year.

The devilish and down-tuned death worship within Plague Years serves as a demonic calling card for the foursome; a brutal counterbalance to their otherwise likeminded thrash revivalists. On “Circle of Darkness”, the band’s full-length debut, Plague Years reunites with engineer Arthur Rizk, whose work with Power Trip, Tomb Mold, Candy, and Cavalera Conspiracy has propelled him to the front of the horde amidst the resurgence of crossover thrash.

Plague Years pays homage to Detroit forebearers Negative Approach and modern contemporaries Hellmouth in equal measure, while infusing the proceedings with a brutal spin of their own design. In terms of lyrical aggression, songs like “Play the Victim” and “Paradox Of Death” blend traditional death metal blood-and-gore fantasy with the unrestrained bravado of Detroit’s grittier contributions to rap, like LOM Rambo and Motown upstart Icewear Vezzo.

There’s dungeon torture in “Witness Hell” and undead armies in “Incantation”. “Circle of Darkness” is a brutal, putrid ode to headbanging, boot stomping, heavy metal culture. As Revolver declared in one of the magazine’s many passionate endorsements, Plague Years “rips hard”, a compulsive death charge right into the fiery mouth of Hades. “Just try not to bang your head. We dare you”.

Watch the video for the first single “Play the Victim” below.

Comments guitarist Eric Lauder: “With this record I wanted to carve our own lane in metal. It’s darker, heavier, faster, and everyone crushed it from the performance to the production. This song is about that narcissistic person in everyone’s life. Someone who seems incredibly loyal but is just a shell of person filled with darkness. You show them the same loyalty, but they stab you in the back. Then when it comes time to confront them they manipulate the situation and "Play the Victim"”.
“Circle of Darkness” will be released on CD, digital, and vinyl formats. Pre-order the album here.

1. Play the Victim
2. Witness Hell
3. Paradox of Death
4. Eternal Fire
5. Circle of Darkness
6. Evil One
7. Incantation
8. Nrftl
9.World in Blood
10. Urge to Kill
Tim Engelhardt - Vocals
Eric Lauder - Guitar
Rian Staber - Bass
Mike Jurysta - Drums