Black Market Ministry - Voices Of The Coming Plague (CD)
Black Market Ministry's music on 'Voices for the Coming Plague' is marked foremost in my mind by a number of feverishly up-tempo hardcore punk sections that create a whirling, demented, carnival-esque feel that's led by clattering drums and is unlike almost anything I've heard before. This contrasts to the slower, wallowing and whining riffs where the abject dirtiness of the guitar tone really comes through. A thick, sticky bluesy vibe coats their sound and it's a real treat to hear a guitar solo - sometimes despondent, sometimes downright soulful - slither into the fray as it does on a number of tracks.
Vocals range from gravel-choked whispers to screeching madness with a variety of other styles of yelling and barking on the side, which through some clever layering seem to materialise out of the the racket like competing schizoid personas. The music and vocals conjure up an image of tortured ghosts jamming in the basement of a backwoods serial murderer.
The songs and the album overall swings like a pendulum with a troubled mind of it's own between furniture-trashing violence and a depressive haze. The relentless nature does mean that there's a risk that it will feel like some tracks become indistinguishable - however, there's enough to catch the ear first time round and after repeat exposures you can appreciate the nuance: There really is a lot of different stuff going on here while still remaining pretty stripped-down and straightforward; pace and song structures chop and change and there's always the feeling of movement, even if it is regression down into ever darker and more unhinged territories. This is also part of the appeal of 'Voices of the Coming Plague' - it's not an easy listen, but the punishment on offer here is original and by the end you'll swear you deserved it. - Metal Archive