Review: Flood Peak – Plagued by Sufferers
Flood Peak is a bleak post-metal trio from my neck of the woods in Portland, OR. Intense doom and black metal influences color this release as it washes over you in a gritty wave, fittingly called Plagued by Sufferers.
Maybe I’m just in a funk, but as I’m writing this, another riot is going on in Portland, again triggered by alt-right clowns who proceed to clash with Antifa, and the police get involved and the whole Portland/SW Washington area stirs up into a fever pitch. Everything’s a fucking mess and I stepped past the line of overworked roughly two day jobs ago. I’m pessimistic, I’m angry, honestly I’m kind of scared. Violence and riots were not monthly occurrences just south of the Columbian not too long ago.
What I’m saying is this EP is scratching one mighty big cathartic itch. This isn’t really a record to come to if you want something more riff-focused. This is more about letting textures and moods wash over you. The opening track, “Precursor,” is almost meditative in its repetition. The repetition is always building, always layering into something that begins to weigh down on you more and more. But I like the soul-crushing weight of it; again, I appreciate the catharsis of this EP. Things get pulled back as the “Precursor” transitions seamlessly to the next track, “Scourge,” the first half of which is done with undistorted guitars that keep up the same amount of doom and gloom. The broken chords and light dissonances create a great, moody texture and things build to another filthy wall of sound.
The final track, “Veiled by Summoners” provides maybe the best catharsis out of the record for me, with a melancholic main motive that’s somewhat pared back compared to the rest of the album, but with the same driving intensity underneath it all. The hopeless feeling winding its way underneath is relentless, and perfect for the mood brought on by all the tension and failure in the world lately.
The graceful transitions between gritty, bleak walls of sound are a great testament to the skill of Flood Peak, and that they develop the motives established in cleaner sections when they come back to the heavier sounds, rather than treating them as asides are a good sign of their compositional skill. I’d definitely keep my eyes peeled for future releases.