Released: 2007, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Members/ex-members from such hordes of metal as Damnation (Varyen), Luciferion (Wojtek), Lost Horizon (Wojtek), Forests of Impaled (Adrian), Loss of Reverence (Martin) and Vows in Ashes (Logan) decided to unite and form a new full-time band under the Against the Plagues moniker. For starters, keeping in mind what kind of musical backgrounds these fellows come from, don´t expect anything less either in quality of music or lyrics as far as Against the Plagues are concerned. Against the Plagues serves these guys' purpose to continue each of their musical journeys at least with an interesting musical and lyrical concept, creating lots of mystic and atmospheric elements around their relatively extreme black/death metal that will break that stupid, glazed grin on your face into smithereens.
But seriously, THE ARCHITECTURE OF OPPRESSION as its own tight package, is one monster of a black/death metal release; something that you can actually expect from a line-up they have got in Against the Plagues. The band is a result of 5 very experienced and gifted musicians more than anything else. There´s so much true song writing potential inside Against the Plagues that it´s enviable or almost criminal to have as much just for one band.
As for the most important thing on the album - the music, to say Against the Plagues would remind one of one certain band musically, would be a relatively impossible task to anyone simply because the band draws its influences (or inspirations) from many different directions. Granted, some of these influences may come through their music stronger than some others, but I guess at least most of us could name Dimmu Borgir for one of the most influential things for Against the Plagues, even if we are still pretty far from any copycatting of Dimmu´s symphonic soundscapes. Also, I think Logan´s shrieking, black metal vocal parts give an extra push towards Dimmu´s direction as he sounds more than deceptively like Shagrath whenever he spits a dose of venom out from his lungs in between the songs. Wojtek´s deep death grunts, on the other hand, create a really nice contrast to Logan´s vocalism on the album, which obviously was something the band was also after, just to give an even more unique shot to the well-crafted wholeness. What I find also great about this album, Against the Plagues seem truly to know how to take full advantage of all kinds of different harmonies that are constantly present within their music. Martin´s cleverly thought out keyboard parts have of course a lot of to do with them - they basically manage to paint a perfect background for all the other instruments, all of them together building up to such a sinfully bombastic listening experience. Nocturnus´ name could be mentioned at this point simply because the keyboards have been fitted in a way that they are not meant to steal any extra space from any other instruments, but work out completely equally with everything else, side by side.
Using also some other band names as fair references in order to calculate the best possible result for the description of Against the Plagues´ sound, it has to be mentioned Wojtek´s ´project band´ Luciferion is somewhat strongly present on THE ARCHITECTURE..., too. The riffs, the hypnotic rhythms, Wojtek´s excellent lead work in Luciferion and such, they all tend to throw me back to Luciferion´s direction more than just occasionally. And I know I´m not alone with my feelings. But then again, one is surely able to dig up such names out from the songs as Morbid Angel, Limbonic Art, Behemoth and the likes, but like they say, it´s all in the ear of a listener. Besides, hasn´t Morbid Angel influenced almost every extreme metal band on the face of the earth? Come to think of it! I mean, seriously...
There´s no need to lift up, or underline any specific songs above other songs out from this totally impressive release as the whole album seriously kicks in in such a sweet and effective way that you don´t feel like removing the disc from your CD-player for a while once you have placed it in there. Against the Plagues have already all the aces ready in the sleeves of black leather jackets by which they are easily able to redeem their own spot on the top of the genre as far as extreme metal is concerned. I can already see some established and known labels fighting over for this band as an odor of talent can be smelled from long distances already. Against the Plagues definitely reeks of quality in every sense, whatever goes under that specific word.
What more there is to say about THE ARCHITECTURE OF OPPRESSION then? Simply fuckin´ brilliant.