Leeches – A Plague In the Heart of Light

The vast underground of black metal is something that’s just as perilous as it is fruitful. It can often feel like you’re just as likely to come across something that’s so amazingly genius that it changes your perception of what the style can become as much as something that’s so boring or unimaginative that makes you feel like creativity is dying more by the day. Yet, those are extremes that will never be a true indicator for the scene as a whole, and there are constantly acts that are constantly proving that by providing us works that are far from original when it comes to their sound, but it’s through such constant pressure that the style still feels fresh somehow. Leeches is just the latest in a never-ending line of black metal acts to do such a concept justice, and it’s with this debut album that we see this band quickly take on a form that’s just as intriguing as it is promising.

Not even a runtime of 20 minutes is what we’re given throughout the work that has become titled “A Plague In the Heart of Light”, a name that’s beyond familiar-sounding for anyone who even has their toe dipped in the style. With this work also being made by musicians who have become quite respected in their own corners of the black metal world, Leeches was already a force to be reckoned with given its line-up before any material was even released, and then it was these five tracks that showed us just what exactly what we were in for. In reality, though, it’s not much different from what we’ve heard many times before but much like how psych-rock continues to tread the same space and find new glory on a regular occasion, Leeches has found glory in the retreaded territory.

You could easily pick up this release out of time and throw it back to some of the very first editions of black metal classics that were coming out decades ago and I have a good feeling that it would spread like wildfire given how well it fits into that sound with the quality the match. The old school sound of the style may be overplayed, overdone, and overstayed by many peoples’ standards, but it’s with the entirety of “A Plague In the Heart of Light” that we see it done quite a lot of justice between the chilling riffage, classic underground flavors, and an touchable musicianship that pierces every second of this increasingly carnivorous effort. It’s the exact kind of album that so many bands wish they could create even once, and that goes to show the power behind Leeches in its rawest form as it’s in the whole of this work that we cower before their great prowess. This is a debut that is not to be underestimated, and I truly cannot wait to see how Leeches will seek to top everything that “A Plague In the Heart of Light”, for that will be a tall order for sure.

Works like this can easily be considered a dime a dozen, but there is an infectious element to this album that many other contemporaries lack in devastating quantities but I’ve absolute confidence that Leeches will be able to replicate it at the absolute drop of a hat should they choose to. “A Plague In the Heart of Light” is something that quickly burrows its way into your skull with deadly precision and a murderous purpose, and its something that won’t be leaving any time soon.

You can listen to “A Plague In the Heart of Light” on Bandcamp here.

Track Listing:
1. Elevation to a Dead Dream
2. Luminous New Past
3. Passage to Extinction
4. A Plague in the Heart of Light
5. Leeches