Portraits of Pain Darkwave, Death Rock Plasmata Plasmata is a hybrid project that fuses elements of death rock, EBM, industrial, darkwave, and goth all into one. Led by Trent Jeffries, the project was formed in 2005 and they released their debut single 'Lifeblood' that same year. 2007 saw them release their EP 'Wails from the Crypt'. The band rose to prominence by 2011 after several live shows, appearances in compilations, airplay and DJ rotation, and even a mention in Mick Mercer's novel Music to Die For. However, in 2012 Jeffries sustained a ruptured brain aneurysm. A decade of recovering from partial memory loss, diminished motor skills, neural deficiency, and more has led to Jeffries' present. His latest EP "Portraits of Pain", deals with his history as Plasmata once again rises. The result is a relatively swell goth EP with a few pings of error here and there. Portraits of Pain by Plasmata'Leviathan' kicks off the album with swirling, laser-like sounds coming from a signal from out of space. The drums kick in first, raising tension. When Jeffries' vocals kick in, they mix between a well-sung and solemn voice and another that sounds as if Jeffries is way too close to the microphone; it's almost monotone in a sense and static. That voice is the voice that I did not enjoy. The rest of the song is great however, from the twangy electronic bits to the doomy guitar notes that penetrate the background. I love the punk-ish take on 'Ten Bells' which jumps between frenetic musical and vocal delivery and bits of spoken word brilliance. Aly Jados provides guest vocals on the song, as well, giving it an edge. Thanks to the superb drum work on 'The Enlightenment, there's a tribal like sound to it. It is fun and sounds like it should be included in a horror film. 'Death of Hope' is the ballad of the EP, coming in with slow-moving gothrock inspired guitars and flare. The only song on the EP that I found to be severely underwhelming is 'The Vanishing'. Guitars are there, drums are there, bass guitar is there, keys are in the background, but it's the most bland track on the album. Rather than coming off as a Plasmata song, as gathered from the other five tracks on "Portraits of Pain", it comes off as a fairly generic hard rock track. It is dull and after my third listen playthrough of 'Portraits of Pain', I found myself skipping it.  Plasmata is back and that's a good thing. I find their comeback EP to be well written and executed even if I didn't enjoy 'The Vanishing' all that well. I have a feeling that Plasmata will rise to prominence once more, time is just all that is needed. Six-and-a-half out of ten! This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 350
Brutal Resonance

Plasmata - Portraits of Pain

6.5
"Alright"
Released off label 2021
Plasmata is a hybrid project that fuses elements of death rock, EBM, industrial, darkwave, and goth all into one. Led by Trent Jeffries, the project was formed in 2005 and they released their debut single 'Lifeblood' that same year. 2007 saw them release their EP 'Wails from the Crypt'. The band rose to prominence by 2011 after several live shows, appearances in compilations, airplay and DJ rotation, and even a mention in Mick Mercer's novel Music to Die For. However, in 2012 Jeffries sustained a ruptured brain aneurysm. A decade of recovering from partial memory loss, diminished motor skills, neural deficiency, and more has led to Jeffries' present. His latest EP "Portraits of Pain", deals with his history as Plasmata once again rises. The result is a relatively swell goth EP with a few pings of error here and there. 



'Leviathan' kicks off the album with swirling, laser-like sounds coming from a signal from out of space. The drums kick in first, raising tension. When Jeffries' vocals kick in, they mix between a well-sung and solemn voice and another that sounds as if Jeffries is way too close to the microphone; it's almost monotone in a sense and static. That voice is the voice that I did not enjoy. The rest of the song is great however, from the twangy electronic bits to the doomy guitar notes that penetrate the background. 

I love the punk-ish take on 'Ten Bells' which jumps between frenetic musical and vocal delivery and bits of spoken word brilliance. Aly Jados provides guest vocals on the song, as well, giving it an edge. Thanks to the superb drum work on 'The Enlightenment, there's a tribal like sound to it. It is fun and sounds like it should be included in a horror film. 'Death of Hope' is the ballad of the EP, coming in with slow-moving gothrock inspired guitars and flare. 

The only song on the EP that I found to be severely underwhelming is 'The Vanishing'. Guitars are there, drums are there, bass guitar is there, keys are in the background, but it's the most bland track on the album. Rather than coming off as a Plasmata song, as gathered from the other five tracks on "Portraits of Pain", it comes off as a fairly generic hard rock track. It is dull and after my third listen playthrough of 'Portraits of Pain', I found myself skipping it. 

 Plasmata is back and that's a good thing. I find their comeback EP to be well written and executed even if I didn't enjoy 'The Vanishing' all that well. I have a feeling that Plasmata will rise to prominence once more, time is just all that is needed. Six-and-a-half out of ten! 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Jun 19 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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