This album has been something I’ve wanted to review for a long time, so I was pretty hyped when I finally got off my ass so I could uh… sit back down and listen to it. First thing I noticed was how immensely powerful the main riff of the opening track is. Probably the first riff I’ve heard this year that’s actually going to be stuck in my head for a while. This is the strong point of The Plague Within. It has a few select riffs in this album that have so much power and umf, along with being catchy, that you can’t get enough of them and they become earworms. Good earworms mind you. Victim of the Past, No Hope in Sight, and Return to the Sun (although not quite on the level as the other two) all have this kind of riff in them. The problem however, is that there’s a lot of time inbetween those riffs. And nothing in this album is really bad by any means, it just feels like it lacks the power of it’s riffs. While only those three tracks have main riffs of immense power, the other riffs in this album are by no means bad at all. But even though Paradise Lost fills up space with orchestral instruments, solid vocal work, and even blast beats at times, all of which sound good, it only ever reaches exactly; good. There is no wow factor, nothing to sweep me off my feat, no eargasm. Just pretty dang solid music. It’s like you have mild, medium, and hot salsa, and this is right under medium. It has just enough spice to be interesting, but not quite enough spice to make you satisfied. A major part of that is the store-bought chord progressions all throughout Plague, which to be fair is expected out of anything labeled “gothic”. To be clear, I certainly liked this, but I just don’t feel comfortable giving this the “recommended” label to an album I wouldn’t actually recommend to most people. The Plague Within is solid, but lacks the firepower to contend with the elite.