REVIEW: Plan to Prosper – Plan to Prosper [EP/2014]


Artist: Plan to Prosper

Album: Plan to Prosper – EP


In this world, you have to do whatever it takes to get to the top: good or bad, kind or degenerate, you know—in your heart of hearts—that you are destined to make it. It might mean killing, cleaving, cutting and cussing your way there, but you are prepared to do what it takes to rise above any and all opposition and dominate. This is the story of Plan to Prosper—a fresh, furious four-piece out of Brooklyn—and their debut, self-titled EP. Plan to Prosper Is a collection of immense, awe-inspiring but gut-wrenchingly filthy tracks that paint the picture of a band willing to do whatever it takes to rise to the top of the progressive metalcore scene. By means of incorporating elements of beatdown, nu-metal, downtempo and touches of technicality, Plan to Prosper shock and awe the listener into sheer submission by way of aural domination. However, like the rise of all greats, it didn’t happen overnight—it occurs in three steps of bitter, streetwise anger that paint a picture of progression from unknown to unstoppable.

You started your ascent to iron-fisted domination young, naïve in the ruthless ways of urban aggression and the true definition of street smarts. However, what you lacked in experience, you made up for in boundless bitterness and die-hard determination. Plan to Prosper, while a young band, follow the same rhetoric. Launching at the listener like a bullet from the barrel of a gun, their self-titled EP starts off fast, loud and pissed with absolutely no intention of slowing down. “Solomon Grundy” is a maelstrom of murderous, razor-sharp fretwork and bone-crunching percussion that paves the listener like a steamroller, oscillating between almost-ambient grooves and dome-splitting dissonance. Meanwhile, “High Rol13r” takes the short road—ditching Plan to Prosper’s penchant for the ambient in favor of an all-out attack on the listener, going for the throat and ripping out their jugular. The absolutely relentless—let technically competent—manner in which Plan to Prosper wage war on the listener’s sanity is marvelously cunning, and bordering on guerilla-like. Around every twist and turn of the EP, the listener knows an attack of atom-splitting intensity is incoming—they just don’t know when or where it will strike.

As the streets mold you, embrace you and morph you into a more mature, methodical and enlightened version of your energetically abusive self, you begin to favor strategy and subtly over raw anger. The same can be said of Plan to Prosper’s self-titled release. Plan to Prosper definitely begins with its most aggressive and unstoppable foot forward—however, as the EP continues, the belligerent side of the band begins to give way to a more methodical and truly murderous atmosphere. “Blackmail,” for instance, captures the lyrical energy and no-holds-barred hate of “Solomon Grundy,” but frames it in a much more refined and rigorous song structure. Carefully written grooves lace together absolutely smothering and soul-stealing fits of heaviness; the fretwork ranges from riff-driven and rampaging to chugged-out and unstoppable. Meanwhile, the percussion follows suit, constantly at the top of its game, throwing in lightning-fast fills and machine-gun kick drumming to keep the listener thoroughly damaged. In fact, it is the percussive efforts of Daniel Kravchenko and the lacerating fretwork of Quincy Davies and Kenneth Brian that keep Plan to Prosper on the upward path to progression—constantly pushing the limits of how smoothly and fluidly they can morph from segments of technically fueled shred (the opening seconds to “Blackmail”) to downtuned and dissonant brutality (not thirty more seconds into the very same track).

After years of knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em—the difference between a knife to the throat and a shotgun shell to the chest—you’ve mastered every way of eliminating any enemy that blocks your path to greatness. This is the climax of Plan to Prosper’s dynamic—a driving combination of all-out anger and aggression, and subtle flares of instrumental ingenuity—to reach their ultimate goal: complete annihilation of the listener. Whether it’s the lyrical brilliance and vocal excellence of Nick Gizewski throughout “Solomon Grundy” and “Demons,” or the masterful musicianship driving “Blackmail,” Plan to Prosper take all the nuts and bolts—anger, technicality, heaviness and precision—to piece together a brilliantly constructed EP that catapults them directly to the top of the down-tuned and dissonant hierarchy. Plan to Prosper is a collection of brilliantly written and relentlessly heavy tracks that will leave the listener gutted and bleeding out, completely blindsided by the brutality they were confronted with.

With so many hard-working and dedicated bands forming out of thin air, it’s truly tough to quantify what makes one rise so much faster and higher than the dregs of others. Is it their tone? Perhaps the unique flares of personality and aggression that define their music? Maybe it’s the balls-to-the-wall, sanity-shearing heaviness they offer—wrapped in a technically adept package—that does it. Whatever it is, Plan to Prosper are certainly gifted with it, as it makes their self-titled EP one of the most relentless and masterful debut releases to grace the world of all things heavy with its presence.



For Fans Of: Towers, Villains, Barrier, Sentients, Adhara, The Alaskan

By: Connor Welsh