OK, I like SIEBENBÜRGEN, ever since their debut. But their fourth album "Plagued Be Thy Angel" just doesn't really work as it should be. But why? Somehow I feel reminded of Gabe and the new ANATA, the ingredients all are there, but something just doesn't ignite, yet what?
Let's face the facts. The Black Metal has to a big portion given way to a very traditional Metal-sound, but still is heavier than the collective Power Metal-community. Ehlin still is snarling as ever, Kicki Höijertz adds her parts (at least on the CD), lyrically they still are dark, the double-bass (fortunately) still are thundering. So all the elements that had been there before, but now somehow seem different.
The opening title-track (minus the intro) is impaling you from the start, it's biting, has good melodies, it's just real fun, but the following "Destination Supremacy" leaves quite something to be desired, doesn't have any highlights to point out and Madame Höijertz's voice sounds too thin, and also with "Father Of Lies" the song itself is quite good, but nothing makes you listen up. Maybe because Master Ehlin snarls a little too monotonous?
But "Angelic", the Swedish "Skändat Sinne", "As Black As A Midnight Heart" or "Her Shadows Adored" are really strong songs, just SIEBENBÜRGEN don't manage to keep this level over the whole album, some of the compositions are just too unobstrusive, maybe a few less songs might have been mor ein the end. What is even more decisive is the relative weakness in the vocal area (especially with Kicki Höijertz), it sounds either too uniform or too thin.
Who, like myself, can arrest one of the DigiPak-versions will get another titbit, a cover-version of JUDAS PRIEST's "Jawbreaker". Who already knows the W.A.S.P.-cover "Animal, Fuck Like A Beast" off the previous album "Delictum", knows that SIEBENBÜRGEN really are becoming specialists for these kinds of covers, hehe. And somehow this seems to become standard, SIEBENBÜRGEN cover W.A.S.P. and PRIEST, CHILDREN OF BODOM also PRIEST, DIMMU BORGIR cover TWISTED SISTER, if the quality always is like in these cases, two thumbs up from me!
All in all a good album, which cannot reach the previous album, I hope that they will pull themselves together again the next time and are able to fire on all cylinders again over the complete album!