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Album Review: Prey by Planes Mistaken For Stars

Revered melodic-hardcore / punk act Planes Mistaken For Stars return with their new album Prey released on 21st October via Deathwish Inc. Their first new album in a decade, Prey was produced and engineered by Sanford Parker (Wovenhand, Leviathan, Yob). In need of isolation to finish writing the album, founder Gared O’Donnell took to the road alone. Instead of finding a predictable muse, he found himself driving deep into the crumbling heart of middle America. There, Gared took up residence in decrepit motels, finding inspiration in the descending darkness surrounding him.

Like a beast awakening from a slumber this is Planes Mistaken For Stars at their very best. Equal parts heavy, haunting and blisteringly aggressive the band have returned with a bang. Whether it be the chaotic crashes of opener ‘Dementia Americana’, the evocative intro of ‘Til It Clicks’ or the more traditional melodic hardcore of ‘Riot Season’ there’s something here to please every Planes Mistaken For Stars fan.

Unfortunately, though Prey probably won’t win the band a legion of new fans. In the grand scheme of things, the album falls a little flat. For a band that was ‘away’ for so long you could be forgiven for expecting more, something a bit more special. The disappointing fact is that while this is a good album you won’t rush back to revisit it.

It’s an album of thirds. The opening three tracks, as mentioned, play their parts as some of the best material the band have committed to record, the middle four tracks are forgettable before the final three come in as close to special as they could. ‘Pan in Flames’ is a soaring beast that progressively engrains itself before ‘Enemy Blinds’ creates an apocalyptic landscape full of dark tones and crescendos. Closer ‘Alabaster Cello’ marks the band’s creative high point, chilling riffs and big atmospherics are a joy.

While Prey won’t endear the band to a new audience it will solidify their cult status.

AD Rating 6/10

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