(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.