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Planks – Perished Bodies

Planks – Perished Bodies

Planks existed eight years and started out of the slipstream of heavy sludge metal acts such as Mastodon (especially their first album) and Tombs. Over the year the band started to explore the territories of New Wave, Black Metal and Shoegaze and incorporated it in their waves of sonic temperance. The only minor of their previous album ‘Funeral Mouths’ was the one dimensional singing and clean vocal lines. As the songwriting and musical explorations started to rise, vocally Ralph Schmidt couldn’t progress as much as the music did.

The same problem occurs on the swansong ‘Perished Bodies’. In “Nothing Will Ever Change” we hear influences of The Cure (a longtime inspiration for singer, guitarist and songwriter Schmidt) and nineties shoegaze. The band is outdoing itself musically however the clean vocals never get a grip at the listener. It would’ve been much better if the band had chosen to find a singer on these last albums…

On “Into Lifeless Embrace” Schmidt is returning to his rough screaming and in the Black Metal part this is working well. One of the best song is “She is Alone”; with guest vocals from Leonie Marie Lollmann (known from the band Svffer) she is taking this song with her beautiful screams towards Oathbreaker territories; also a band that started as Hardcore/Sludge and took the adventure.

“Bliss in All Sorrows Found” is the proof how Planks is capable to enter dynamical and emotional waves in the heavy music. At the right moment melancholic parts drops and are later washed away by the typical Planks heaviness. “Only Now” is continued in the same way and the record begins to grow on me.

We are not yet there, the end ride is continuing and the gloomy edge of The Cure is catching us in the instrumental title song once again. Everything great of the band’s last years existence is crammed into one song. “The Sacrifist, pt II” is concluding the album, again an instrumental. Without guitar distortion this epic song is slowly building up until fuzzy guitar riffs are taking over while the drums are slowly pounding forward if they have to carry the weight of the world. When the heartbeat of the song stops the guitar tones slowly fade away into nothingness.

Goodbye Planks; ‘Perished Bodies’ is a fair testament to end with.

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