Line-up: Orlando Logan Perez - vocals, bass, Wojtek Lisicki – lead guitars, vocals, Adrian Adamus - guitars, Varyen - drums, Martin Widel - keyboards
The name of the band Against the Plagues might not sound familiar to Czech fans, even though it was founded in 2005 and has already released two full length albums. Nevertheless, a closer look at the individual members should ring the bell. This concerns especially the current line-up, which is quite different from the one that had recorded the second album "Decoding the Mainframe". I wonder why the guitarist Marco Martell, who has been a member since 2008 (at that time as the bass player), did not participate on its recording. He has gathered experience from playing with such prominent groups as for example Malevolent Creation or Vader. One more link between Vader and AtP came with the brand new bass player Novy, who also performed with another famous Polish band, Behemoth. Since the release of this recording, the setup had been abandoned by: the guitarist Adrian Adamus, one of the founding members; the lead guitarist Wojtek Lisicky (Lost Horizon), whom the Czech audience probably remember for his cooperation with Hypnös and also the keyboard player Martin Widel, without whose contribution I cannot imagine any subsequent compositions by AtP.
The music is based upon a deadly combination of black and death metal with dreary atmosphere, created mostly by those symphonic parts. Such a dim approach would even deserve to be labelled as dark metal. The whole album keeps its swift tempo from the very beginning and presents a fine exhibition of the percussion art by Varyen (another founding member). His skilful, wild and mechanically precise mixture of rhythmic drumming is an object of admiration for the whole playing time of this record. Comparing him to Martin “Marthus” Škaroupka of Cradle of Filth’s fame is definitely not out of the topic here. Furthermore, we can find similarities with CoF even in the Orlando Logan Perez’s vocals and in the overall melodic concept of each song. The significant difference is how they serve the music to their listeners, in a raw and brutal way.
They also differ in the basic technique of the guitar play, which according to its brutal style inclines more towards death metal. However, there’s enough space left for typical black metal features in higher tonality as well. I appreciate the fact that the band successfully incorporates even some thrashy medleys. These variations in genre perfectly fit together. If I add the already mentioned keyboards to creative rhythms or unusual catchy melodies, the outcome I get is a really colourful mosaic. At first, the beginning of the album did not impress me much, but this probably was caused by my lack of preparation or even knowledge of their production. Repetitive eardrum devastation only strengthened my opinion that this indeed is a very remarkable piece of music, offering continuous stream of tones that won’t let you chill out or feel bored. Those who prefer a combination of brutal straightforward music and dismal atmospheric tunes should revel in the listening to "Decoding the Mainframe" with epicurean delight.