Review: A Plea For Purging – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Artist:  A Plea For Purging
Album: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Genre:  Metalcore
Label: Facedown

Hailing out of Tennessee, A Plea for Purging flow in the vein of other metalcore  acts but they’ve consistently offered a gleam of hope within the decrepit state of the genre. Their passion driven demeanor and proclamation of divine faith enables them to step beyond the realms of conservative formulas and mediocrity.  Their Facedown Records debut,Depravity received a favorable response but their vision to excel beyond their skill and visage was substantially exceeded on their newest record, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

This album is immersed in heart-pounding heaviness, fast discordance, and technical melodies while being enveloped by a keen atmosphere and alluring concept. Throughout the duration the album weaves a theme concentrated on the phrase, “Wolf in sheep’s clothing,” a cautionary ideal of someone who hides malicious intent under a mask of kindness. The subject matter is introduced immediately with the graphic album art and is reinforced within each track, especially on the opening song, “The Eternal Female.” The band builds up anticipation with their live introduction before blasting with an uncompromising brutality on, “Sick Silent America.”  The track undergoes multiple mood changes as it swiftly changes from full speed chaos to dropping the pace for a sludgy feel with melodic underlays.  “Shiver” and “Golden Barriers,” follows suit with some of the heaviest riffs in the collection. The album as a whole has a dark and dismal feel to it, yet still carries a heavy intensity to create an auditory thrill worth listening to.

The band lingers closely to their previous sound but they’re more focused on performing the fundamentals forcibly. This is without saying that there are a number of changes to save the album from musical redundancy. The most noteworthy enhancement is the inclusion of clean singing during the soaring chorus on, “The Fall,” and the shocking, subdued ballad, “The Jealous Wings.” Frontman, Andy Atkins’s impassioned battle cries remain in the same template as he has offered previously and Blake Martin’s pure voice compliments the lead gritty vocals well.  These tasteful additions have never been associated with the band before but they are a welcomed break and a brave dynamic shift.

A Plea for Purging are known for their sacred imagery and assertion of spiritual truth in their lyrics and this album is no exception. While the mass of the record tackles one common theme of deception they also solidify their overall message of remaining strong through treacherous adversities.  “Trembling Hands,” is directed towards individuals that have lost hope but continue to search for truth within the world while album closer, “The New Born Wonder,” depicts taking responsibility of one’s actions due to struggles.  The heartfelt line “I’m too jaded to care, too scared to run. I let my apathy get the best of me,” leaves you to feel Atkins’s pain, and even further as he reflects, “I’m not the same kid I used to be. I’m not the man that I need to be. Look at what I’ve become.”

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell delivers the intensity and aggression that fans have come to respect while maintaining technical proficiency and a spiritually devoted atmosphere. A Plea for Purging have evidently polished their proficiency in songwriting, musicianship, and overall persona for their most impressive album to date.

Score: 8.5/10
Review written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell
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One Response to “Review: A Plea For Purging – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

  1. JosephTTEOTD says:

    Man, I miss this writer. You need to get her back, or tell me if she is still writing for someone else. Her reviews are some of the best and in depth that I’ve read.