Album Review – Against The Plagues / Purified Through Devastation (2015)

The devastating new album by this Blackened Death Metal band from Chicago is undoubtedly the perfect soundtrack for the total extermination of our species.

Rating4

ALBUM_COVER_2015We all know that the human race has proven countless times to be a failed experiment of Mother Nature and that, consequently, there’s only one last resort to restore balance to the world, which is the total extermination of our species. Thus, as there’s no other way out, why not conducting that mandatory purge to the sound of the demolishing music found in Purified Through Devastation,  the brand new release by American Blackened Death Metal act Against The Plagues?

Based in Chicago, Illinois, this brutally heavy and technical band has been pulverizing the world with their Blackened Death Metal since their inception in 2005, mixing speed and slower tempos in a precise and explicit way for the delight of fans of extreme music. Featuring another first-rate artwork by renowned Swedish artist Pär Olofsson (you might remember him from some of our previous reviews such as the latest albums by Exodus and Irreversible Mechanism), six of the nine tracks in Purified Through Devastation were already part of either their 2012 EP The Quaternion or their 2015 EP Extermination Event, which altogether offer the listener a concept album that will leave you disoriented after its 47 minutes of annihilation are over.

Their pulverization begins in less than five seconds in Man’s Modern World, where lead singer Shaun Albro delivers potent screams and growls (hence leading the band’s dense musicality) while drummer Varyen Chylinski shows no mercy for mankind, sounding like a machine gun behind his drums. The brutal and atmospheric All Flesh Had Corrupted, showcasing a more modern version of Death Metal due to its background sounds, continues the band’s carnage and also presents some amazing guitar lines by Jon Corston and Aaron Covarrubias, especially their solos. And what can be said about Praetorian Icon, slightly faster, heavier and more demonic than the previous tracks, reinforcing their impressive technique to sound so destructive and tuneful at the same time?

photoThe next song, Theokratia, is a magnificent neck-breaking chant perfect for admirers of Melodic Death Metal but with sharper instruments, in special the bestial drumming by Varyen and the even deeper growls by Shaun. And their heavy artillery doesn’t give any sign of slowing down as seen in TerrorForm, where hints of Symphonic Black Metal blend perfectly with their traditional shredding, beats and screams, making it a highly-recommended tune for getting smashed in the circle pit. The same is valid for the awesome chant Extermination Event, where its initial siren alerts a scathing bloodshed is about to begin in the form of demented Death Metal.

Let’s say the album needed a short break from all extermination going on with the instrumental track Falling Further, but it’s just for less than two minutes before the psychotic tune Enblightened comes crushing your skull with its Black Metal elements, enhancing the already amazing harsh vocals by Shaun. And lastly, we have the threatening Enemy Herein to close the album, with all instruments getting darker than usual and Jon and Aaron firing more of their striking guitar solos.

Against The Plagues can be found on Facebook and ReverbNation, and there are so many awesome versions of Purified Through Devastation available for sale I don’t know where to start. You can grab your copy of the album at their BandCamp page, a limited edition CD signed by all members at their Big Cartel page, and both the regular version of the album or a special combo CD + T-shirt at the Non Serviam Records webstore. If the brutal extermination of mankind deserves a proper soundtrack, Against The Plagues are indubitably the ones to help us with that gruesome task.

Best moments of the album: Man’s Modern World, Theokratia and Extermination Event.

Worst moments of the album: Enemy Herein.

Released in 2015 Non Serviam Records

Track listing
1. Man’s Modern World 7:06
2. All Flesh Had Corrupted 4:58
3. Praetorian Icon 5:25
4. Theokratia 7:47
5. TerrorForm 5:12
6. Extermination Event 3:56
7. Falling Further 1:39
8. Enblightened 4:46
9. Enemy Herein 6:49

Band members
Shaun Albro – vocals
Jon Corston – guitar
Aaron Covarrubias – guitar
Milo Kovacevic – bass
Varyen Chylinski – drums

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Album Review – Irreversible Mechanism / Infinite Fields (2015)

A mind-blowing experience in Progressive Death Metal that will please all fans of complex and aggressive heavy music.

Rating4

Infinite-Fields-1000When Dream Theater meet Mastodon, who meet Dimmu Borgir, who then meet Meshuggah, you can have a pretty good idea of the level of complexity, progressiveness and obscurity you will find in Infinite Fields, the debut full-length album by Belarusian Progressive Death Metal band Irreversible Mechanism. And you better get properly ready before listening to this album, as it will blow your mind beyond dispute.

Hailing from the city of Minsk, Belarus, musicians Yaroslav Korotkin and Vladislav Nekrash deliver an amazingly intricate blend of extreme and progressive music with the support of Lyle Cooper on drums, who by the way was the drummer on the last two albums by American Technical Death Metal The Faceless. In addition, the album art by renowned Swedish artist Par Olofsson, who has already provided his incredible art to innumerous bands such as Exodus, Aborted, Beyond Creation, Immolation and Onslaught, contributes to making the whole album even more captivating.

The opening track, Irreversible Mechanism, is an ominous instrumental intro that perfectly connects with the album art and transports the listener to this new world or dimension proposed by the band, right before you get absorbed with the complexity found in Into The Void, where you will enjoy interesting heavy riffs amidst intricate keyboard notes and lots of music breaks, with the Black Metal blast beats by Lyle adding a decent amount of fury to the music. Despite being only three musicians, this song shows they’re just everywhere. Outburst continues with the sonic madness, with the harsh growls by Yaroslav getting even more violent and blending deeper with the music while its calm and eerie break focusing on keyboard passages will definitely ease your heart a bit. Besides, there are so many good solos throughout the song I don’t know which one to talk about.

IrreversibleMechanism Photo1The way Irreversible Mechanism put together complex riffs, drums and bass lines in the next track, The Agony, is truly outstanding, followed by the title-track, Infinite Fields, which basically kicks off where the previous song ended, with an awesome rhythmic variation done by its guitar lines and with its sinister keyboards once again gaining the spotlight even with all the violence surrounding them. The excellent intro in Incipience sets the tone to the rest of this blasting song, which showcases a great combination of progressiveness and savagery, with highlights to Vladislav kicking ass with his guitar riffs while Yaroslav maintains his vocals as devilish as possible.

The last part of the album keeps delivering metallic and melodic music, beginning with Fragile, a very symphonic tune that will please fans of contemporary extreme music which offers to the listener keyboards and piano passages the likes of Dimmu Borgir, with its drums getting heavier and faster at times, while The Betrayer Of Time can be considered the band’s Death Metal-ish attack mixed with the progressive music by bands like Dream Theater. Finally, closing the album in a very climatic and desolated way we have more of that Symphonic Black Metal aura in the slower but more atmospheric tune Cold Winds, where its more demonic vocals work pretty well together with the precise and bestial beats by Lyle.

It’s important to mention that none of the songs in Infinite Fields, available as a CD in jewel case with a 12-page booklet through Blood Music’s official webstore and also at their BandCamp page, are too long, with only one of them surpassing the 6-minute barrier, but their level of complexity is beyond average for sure and they’re a million light-years away from being tedious. You can get a taste of Infinite Fields HERE or take a listen at the entire album HERE, and as aforementioned, be ready for a mind-blowing experience in extreme music thanks to this promising Belarusian metal act.

Best moments of the album: Outburst, Infinite Fields and Incipience.

Worst moments of the album: The Betrayer Of Time.

Released in 2015 Blood Music

Track listing
1. Irreversible Mechanism 2:54
2. Into The Void 6:13
3. Outburst 5:46
4. The Agony 3:40
5. Infinite Fields 5:13
6. Incipience 3:42
7. Fragile 3:43
8. The Betrayer Of Time 4:05
9. Cold Winds 3:53

Band members
Yaroslav Korotkin – vocals, bass, lyrics
Vladislav Nekrash – guitars, programming
Lyle Cooper – drums