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Friday, February 03, 2017

A Plea for Purging -- The Life and Death Of...


In the winter of 2010, I lost my mother to the barrel of her loaded gun
Two weeks later my forgotten dad lost the battle of his lifelong suicidal run

He was dead to me years ago
But losing her was an eternal blow
I've spoke in the past of the broken
But now I really know

If there's one thing I've learned: we're all put here to die
So why jump your turn?
I'm living day by day
There's strange comfort in apathy
Lay cold and alone in the ground
Will it be paradise or will you burn?
This is all a gamble
Until it's your turn

Home is where the broken heart is

Son to none
No home but the roads I roam
Son to none
No home but the roads I roam

We're all brokenhearted

-Andy Atkins, A Plea for Purging, "My Song"

These lyrics sum up The Life and Death Of..., A Plea for Purging's final album. The band delve deeper into the down-tuned metal of their previous album, with the guitar even some how lower in tone than before, the drums pummeling, and Atkins bellowing his throat out. All the while, Atkins puts his heart on his sleeve, detailing a dark time in life, dealing with the death of his parents, and missing his hometown as he grinds himself to the bone on the road.
Atkins is a magnetic frontman. His deeply introspective lyrics always show a great amount of empathy, as even in the above song, which details personal events that would break anyone, he marginalizes himself, insisting that "We're all brokenhearted."
An album full of this sort of pain-filled honesty is best when it doesn't go on too long, and that is The Life and Death Of...'s key flaw. Guitarist, Blake Martin, provided sung vocals on several songs on the band's previous album, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Here, his voice is largely relegated to interludes, perhaps meant to allow the listener to recover from the heavy, soul-crushing tracks. However, these interludes instead drag out the album and throw off its pacing. I think it would be far better without them.
So in the end, this is a good, emotional album, populated by some of A Plea for Purging's greatest songs, but it just doesn't quite flow like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

2011 Facedown Records
1. The Life 4:37
2. Music City 3:46
3. Heart of a Child (featuring Chad Ruhlig) 3:50
4. Miss Fortune 1:47
5. My Song (featuring Chadwick Johnson) 3:41
6. Skin and Bones 5:07
7. Room for the Dead 5:13
8. A Fight for Peace 4:40
9. Hell at Our Backs 1:41
10. Words Misread 4:32
11. Hands and Feet 5:39
12. Living the Dream 3:29
13. The Death (featuring Chad Urich) 5:04
14. The Setting Sun 2:25

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