Rating:
N/A
Against The Plagues - The Architecture Of Oppression
12 June 2007


01. Force From Within
02. Renegade Manifesto
03. Great Are The Eyed
04. The Key To Ourselves
05. War Against The Plagues
06. Beyond The Past Of Pain
07. Order Of Decay
08. In Their Venomous World


"The Architecture Of Oppression" must probably be a school example of where melodic death metal and symphonic/melodic black metal meet, then cross and eventually sprout a new branch of melodic extreme metal. This being said and as a result of that, Against The Plagues manage to sound extremely tight and yet incredibly catchy. And let me tell you, despite being not that hyper-original and thus somewhere sounding quite familiar after all (which is not necessarily a bad thing), this band is burning with variation, freshness and rhythmic appeal.

What the talented architects of Against The Plagues have done here is selecting all the best elements out of the melodic black/death pack and using those as fundamental cornerstones for their characteristic building construction that is "The Architecture Of Oppression". This album is just brimming over with tempo, aggression and most of all keyboard-made melody. However, don't let the omnipresence of these keyboards scare you off. Granted, this band knows exactly what they're doing, and I have to admit, for once the incorporation of keyboard parts is turning out pretty successful. Never did I have the feeling the keyboards were becoming annoying, superfluous or lavishly extravagant, and that's really something if you compare to certain other bands who experimented with keyboards… and failed miserably most of the time.
Now, for the ones who have been wondering, the reason why this band sounds so clean and professional is very simple; just take a look at the musician's backgrounds. The fact of the matter is Against The Plagues include members of Forest Of Impaled, Lost Horizon, Luciferion, Damnation, and recently also Malevolent Creation/Kult ov Azazel. In other words, these guys are carrying tons of experience, skill and inspiration with them, what is also clearly appearing in this high-caliber debut album. The US distribution deal the band closed with Century Media just last month proves I'm not the only one thinking this.
Another remarkable characteristic of Against The Plagues is the way this band justifies their undeniable cleverness and craftsmanship not by opting for a technical and complex direction, but rather for a more direct, yet structured, punch-in-the-face approach. This approach is most alive especially in the superb solos, the intricate riffs, the precise drumming and the wide range of vocals, which by times have a very high Shagrath attitude (remember when I talked about the familiar feeling earlier). But there is also room for atmosphere; not only in the musical sound, but also in the lyrical concepts and the overall mystical and almost apocalyptic theme Against The Plagues is totally swathed in.

And yet, despite being a fine, enjoyable and even intriguing record, "The Architecture Of Oppression" isn't one of those records you need to have in your collection of albums you want to be buried with. However, this doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend this album to you - far from it actually. Because, sure, "The Architecture Of Oppression" is a recommendation when you're into extreme metal, certainly when you adore melodic twists and keyboards. In fact, this is some required matter for all the ones looking for the next better thing after Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child, even Cradle Of Filth and, why not, Keep Of Kalessin. Be sure to keep an eye on these guys, I know I will.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Against The Plagues
Album: The Architecture Of Oppression


 


written by Thryce | 05.09.2008



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White Winter Sun - 12.09.2008 at 19:31  
I was a bit curious after the reading of this review (especially the conclusion of the review and the allusion to Old Man's Child). So I listened to this "The Architecture Of Oppression" to check it.

I must admit this is not a revolutionary album, but it sounds really good and it is not linear. The catchy side of this album is undeniable, and even if the songs are quite similar, they are still varied, with brutal and intense moments interrupted by more mid-tempo ones. Same for the singing, this album offers a wide range of vocals.

And you're right, there's a fucking insane drumming inside.

To conclude, I did not know them, thank you for the discovery
MétalNoir - 15.01.2010 at 19:39  
Awesome album, I was quite surprised to listen to such cathy BM from Us, to be honest. They really sound like Shagrath and Inferno moved to America to found a superband or something, not to mention the super-addictive keyboard melodies much inthe vein of Emperor and old Dimmu. Looking forward to next album!

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