Album Review: Towers of Silence – Plasmodium


“You know the feeling when adrenaline takes control…” 

The opening lines of “Killing Fields” by Slayer come to my mind when listening to this record. More or less every time. It sure has something to it that lights up the synapses in your brain. Makes the adrenaline flow, raises up the heartbeat, and elevates the level of overall awareness. The rush of electric noise it provides sparks your imagination. Pummelling drumming and chaotic guitars flooding from speakers like a jarring transmission from somewhere far beyond. They fill you up with energy. Fuck Red Bull!! Then, the sudden sensation: The next album on the playlist after it is waaaay less interesting. Almost boring. No matter what band it is. I’m tempted to put “Towers of Silence,” Plasmodium’s second album, back on.

Yes, I have certainly found something special here. Now, allow me to explain.

Plasmodium hail from Melbourne, Australia. After listening to the record for a while, it somehow does not surprise one at all. Aussies can always be trusted to deliver the most intense, otherworldly and chaotic music around. The home grounds of The Berzerker, Portal and Sadistik Exekution have delivered another worthy addition to the list of the mad ones, it seems. Like all of the aforementioned bands, Plasmodium also has a chaotic and noisy approach, which has much sonic violence to it. And more. 

The more, in this case, is the atmospheric and experimental parts of the record. The flipside of the mad coin, so to speak. After starting out in a typical War Metal fashion of the opening track, “ParaMantra,” and adding the mania with the furious second tune “Churning,” Plasmodium launch into the experimental “Pseudocidal.” A complete change of pace there, where the furious attack of the first minutes of the record turns to something completely different. Something spacey and moody instead. It is a great build from a full album perspective. We all know what it is like to listen to forty minutes of unrelenting War Metal, with the same sounds and same tempo, right? So, when “Pseudocidal” starts to conjure up images of Star Wars and the industrial intro of Napalm Death’s “From Enslavement to Obliteration” combined, the listener is at first startled, then surprised, and in my case, soon very much sold. 

If this was not already enough, things only get more exciting from here. The eighteen minute mammoth of a track, “Translucinophobia,” is like a War Metal band trying to outplay the mighty Yes. At some points it sounds like droids talking, then the next moment it tries to rip your head clean off. It stops and starts again, comes and goes then holds the listener in it’s firm grip in such a manner that it feels like eight minutes, rather than eighteen. If that is not a sign of something out of the ordinary, then nothing is. 

When the album closes up again into another Mich Harris-type of experimental Industrial piece, the twelve minutes of “Vertexginous,” it feels like the album is slowing down like the last quiet curves of a roller coaster, before returning to the starting point again. 

In my case, the starting point in recent days, has been an instant replay of the record. I have really found something within it that I have been looking for quite some time. I have dreamed of an ultimate War Metal band that would have Blasphemy paired up with mid-80’s Laibach. War Metal on the other side of it, paired with Martial Industrial. “Towers of Silence” is almost that. Whereas the most recent label sampler from Transcending Obscurity Records, the home of Plasmodium, seemed quite HM-2 Death Metal heavy, “Towers of Silence” is a pleasant surprise. It’s great that the label has signed a more War Metal type of band (which is something new for them) that has also been able to add to the label’s long-running tradition of experimental material. 

Yes, this is surely a record for quite a marginal audience, but it is also highly rewarding to those who make the effort of getting familiar with it. For me, this is by far the best album of 2021 so far, and a massive personal delight no matter the year of the release. Something I have been after for quite a while. 

Rating – 5/5

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