In the half-hour runtime of Plagues and Ancient Rites, Disembowel have perpetuated the dread feeling of a single moment, when the Old Gods finally break through into our dimension to reign in the end times. It is a particular sense of hatred and fear combined that gives Plagues and Ancient Rites an energy worthy of the Lovecraftian mythos it pays homage to.
"Ia! Ia! Nyarlathotep!" embodies the sense of urgency that pervades the album, as though time is running out on the doomsday clock. Disembowel display a knack for variation, as "The Pact With the Sect of the Sea" breaks its blast beat onslaught to fall into a steady gallop toward death, while "The Ancient Cult of Cthulhu" infuses ominous groove into the mix before being buried under rabid soloing and frantic tremolos.
Plagues and Ancient Rites draws from the primitive marrow of black and death metal, even taking cues from thrash. There are inklings of Scream Bloody Gore-era Death as much as early Slayer, at times. Adding to this, the production sounds as though it's being recorded out of a cassette deck, imbuing it with an "old school" edge to its sound.
Disembowel juggle atmosphere and rage seamlessly, while retaining an intoxicating catchiness that makes Plagues and Ancient Rites ripe for replay. It oozes with great riffs and groove that will speak to metalheads across genres and maybe even draw forth Azathoth. (Iron Bonehead)