|Review: Pile of Priests - Pile of Priests|
|Pile of Priests|
Label: Extreme Metal Music
Year released: 2020
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: April 19, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
for:Pile of Priests
Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)
I'll admit to being generally suspicious of Progressive Metal, and hearing this album was meant to be a Progressive Death Metal album that served as a big step forward for the band didn't make me too excited to listen to it. Thankfully, rather than delving into jazzy bullshit like Cynic or overloading their sound with pretentious nonsense like Isle of the Cross, Pile of Priests' self-titled sophomore album works more in that aggressive and technical vein laid out by the likes of mid-period Death and Pestilence. The guitar work is really solid on this, with riffs that twist and turn in interesting directions before dropping into shimmering melodic leads, and outside of an introductory piano piece this album focuses pretty heavily on them. The vocals are mostly a low growl that's urgent while remaining intelligible throughout, but there's another growler on a few songs who isn't quite as convincing, though her clean singing on the closing track "The Restitution" is quite nice. There's a story going on involving the efforts to overthrow a tyrannical king in the Middle Ages, but it's not what you'd call high drama, and outside of some narration it doesn't really get in the way of the music. Despite starting out as a more typical Death/Thrash act and having a name that sounds like the perverted fantasies of a sexually repressed nun, Pile of Priests have delivered a nuanced and satisfying album that any fan of more complex Death Metal will want to get a hold of.
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