Jan 152016

Against the Plagues-Purified Through Devastation


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Against the Plagues.)

Here in the great and glorious republic of No Clean Singing we’ve been watching the career of Chicago-based multi-national metallers Against the Plagues with an appraising eye for some time now. Though their debut album (so good they named it, and released it, twice!) didn’t exactly set the world on fire, there was still enough potential inherent in it to ensure that the group deserved a second look when the time finally came for them to release their follow-up The Quaternion (reviewed HERE), which was most definitely a major step-up for the group (if not exactly a step outside their comfort zone).

However, not long after the EP’s release the band’s line-up effectively imploded, leaving drummer Varyen as the last man standing in the aftermath. Thankfully, he refused to give up on things and, over the course of the next three years, recruited an entirely new line-up in order to work on what would eventually become the group’s second full-length album proper, Purified Through Devastation.

Now, some may feel slightly short-changed by the fact that Purified Through Devastation re-records the entirety of The Quaternion (all four tracks) – which would be wholly understandable, to an extent. However, I’d like to reassure those people that the versions present on this album far exceed those originally put out on the EP, as the entire album itself positively crackles with a real sense of vitality and energy over and above anything the band have done before.

Granted, it doesn’t exactly break the mould, or reinvent the wheel… or whatever other cliché you might be thinking of… but then again, it doesn’t really have to. Against the Plagues are clearly more focussed on being (to paraphrase a certain Canucklehead) “the best there is at what they do”.

And while they’re not quite there yet… they’re definitely on their way. Continue reading »

Dec 032015

Against the Plagues-Purified Through Devastation


On December 18, the Dutch label Non Serviam Records will release the new album by multinational, Chicago-based extreme metal band Against the Plagues. Entitled Purified Through Devastation, it’s emblazoned with the flame-throwing cover art of Pär Oloffson and it includes a lot of flame-throwing music, too — as you will discover, through our premiere of a track called “Man’s Modern World“.

At just over 47 minutes in length, the album is a full-bodied offering of blackened death metal and features a revised line-up for this band, which includes current or former members of Damnation, Forest Of Impaled, Luciferion, and Throne of Sacrilege, among others. Continue reading »

Apr 052013

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new EP by multi-national band Against the Plagues.)

You may not have heard of Against The Plagues before [though NCS did first take note of them here back in August 2010], but their pedigree can’t be denied: This multi-national, Chicago-based quartet features former members of Vader, Forest of Impaled, and Malevolent Creation within their ranks.

Their previous release, 2010’s Decoding The Mainframe, was an impressive slice of death/black metal, whose symphonic audacity and brutal riffery trod a thin line between Puritania-era Dimmu Borgir and Covenant-era Morbid Angel, and saw the band making tentative beginnings at carving out a niche for themselves in a very populated, often very fractious, field.

Now although I am definitely a big fan of the album, at times it seemed to draw its character a little too directly from its influences, with an update in sound here and there to keep things interesting. The band themselves, the Against The Plagues I knew, were in there somewhere, but simply hadn’t fully established a separate identity outside of the confines and constrictions of their chosen genre. The band kicked all sorts of metallic ass, but remained disciples, not innovators. Continue reading »

Aug 262010

Because of our trip to Portland last weekend to take in the awesomeness of the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour (for the second time), I didn’t have time for my usual weekly foray into the interwebs looking for new metal.  I’ve been catching up since then and I’ve made enough headway to warrant another installment of this MISCELLANY series.

For new readers, here’s how this thing works: I randomly follow up on e-mails we get here at NCS, or MySpace “friend” requests, or demos that come in the mail, or tips we get from readers, or blurbs that catch my eye on metal sites like Blabbermouth — and I listen to the music or watch a video. Most of the time, I don’t know in advance what the music will be like, or whether it will be good, bad, or just meh.

And then, in this post, I dutifully write up what I found, without filtering out anything. I’m usually pretty lucky in finding new music that’s worthwhile, but there are no guarantees, for me or for you if you choose to read along.

Today’s grab-bag of listening and watching included offerings from Enos (UK), Nightfall (Greece), Anachronaeon (Sweden), Against the Plagues (multinational), and Shades of Dusk (Canada). It’s kind of a long post, but here’s a top-level hint — the music is divergent in style, but everything I heard was very sweet. No filler, all killer. So stay with me.  (explanations, music to hear, and videos to watch, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »