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Plague of Stars - Promo 2012
Written by John Thornburgh   
Thursday, 15 November 2012

Plague of Stars - Promo 2012

Plague of Stars

Parenthood sometimes mellows metal stars. I'm thinking of Queensryche in the 90's. Not so Melissa Ferlaak. The new project for the former Visions of Atlantis singer is heavy, and intense. Her band is called Plague of Stars, from Minnesota. They have two very good songs so far. Whether there are more is up to you since the project is crowd funded.

The first song is called "When Morning Came." Given that I just saw Melissa deliver a beautiful acoustic performance at the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium, and given her training in opera, I was expecting something semi-classical. Instead, I was rocked out of my chair with the angry riffs that start the song. Melissa also uses a rock voice, not an opera voice, and only employs her soprano skills for emphasis, much like Rob Halford's high notes. It is very effective. Meanwhile, the band delivers a pounding double bass headbanger, with an impressive guitar solo. Melissa's lyrics are also intriguing. I'm still working on my interpretation, but at present I think they describe the aftermath of war ("arose from the deathly ground/broken towns bloody drowned/cowards call to assign the blame/all is lost when morning came"). Needless to say, they are suitably dramatic for the music.

Plague of Stars

The second song ("In the Pines") is slightly slower and more doomy or even bluesy, but is no less heavy or intense. The song actual gave me shivers in its depiction of a girl put to death after finding her man abusing a child and shooting him ("They found her sleeping in the pines, cradling his head/They strung a noose, kicked the box under my shoes, and never cut me loose"). The lyrics are also interesting in the way they switch point of view. This song also features effective variety, with melodic guitars and haunting vocals at times, and driving doom at the end.

Overall, I give these two songs 9 out of 10. I hope there is a full album. As I said, whether there is depends on the audience because the project depends on donations. This represents a radical shift of power from labels to fans. If you are like me, you'll donate. You can download these two songs for free.

Plague of Stars

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