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Architecture of Oppression
CD 
List Price: $13.98
Price: $12.06
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Architecture of Oppression on CD

Members/ex-members from such hordes of metal as Damnation (Varyen), Luciferion (Wojtek), Lost Horizon (Wojtek), Forests of Impaled (Adrian), Loss of Reverence (Martin) and Vows in Ashes (Logan) decided to unite and form a new full-time band under the Against the Plagues moniker. For starters, keeping in mind what kind of musical backgrounds these fellows come from, don´t expect anything less either in quality of music or lyrics as far as Against the Plagues are concerned. Against the Plagues serves these guys\' purpose to continue each of their musical journeys at least with an interesting musical and lyrical concept, creating lots of mystic and atmospheric elements around their relatively extreme black/death metal that will break that stupid, glazed grin on your face into smithereens. But seriously, THE ARCHITECTURE OF OPPRESSION as it's own tight package, is one monster of a black/death metal release; something that you can actually expect from a line-up they have got in Against the Plagues. The band is a result of 5 very experienced and gifted musicians more than anything else. There´s so much true song writing potential inside Against the Plagues that it´s enviable or almost criminal to have as much just for one band. As for the most important thing on the album - the music, to say Against the Plagues would remind one of one certain band musically, would be a relatively impossible task to anyone simply because the band draws it's influences (or inspirations) from many different directions. Granted, some of these influences may come through their music stronger than some others, but I guess at least most of us could name Dimmu Borgir for one of the most influential things for Against the Plagues, even if we are still pretty far from any copycatting of Dimmu´s symphonic soundscapes. Also, I think Logan´s shrieking, black metal vocal parts give an extra push towards Dimmu´s direction as he sounds more than deceptively like Shagrath whenever he spits a dose of venom out from his lungs in between the songs. Wojtek´s deep death grunts, on the other hand, create a really nice contrast to Logan´s vocalism on the album, which obviously was something the band was also after, just to give an even more unique shot to the well-crafted wholeness. What I find also great about this album, Against the Plagues seem truly to know how to take full advantage of all kinds of different harmonies that are constantly present within their music. Martin´s cleverly thought out keyboard parts have of course a lot of to do with them - they basically manage to paint a perfect background for all the other instruments, all of them together building up to such a sinfully bombastic listening experience. Nocturnus´ name could be mentioned at this point simply because the keyboards have been fitted in a way that they are not meant to steal any extra space from any other instruments, but work out completely equally with everything else, side by side. Using also some other band names as fair references in order to calculate the best possible result for the description of Against the Plagues´ sound, it has to be mentioned Wojtek´s ´project band´ Luciferion is somewhat strongly present on THE ARCHITECTURE..., too. The riffs, the hypnotic rhythms, Wojtek´s excellent lead work in Luciferion and such, they all tend to throw me back to Luciferion´s direction more than just occasionally. And I know I´m not alone with my feelings. But then again, one is surely able to dig up such names out from the songs as Morbid Angel, Limbonic Art, Behemoth and the likes, but like they say, it´s all in the ear of a listener. Besides, hasn´t Morbid Angel influenced almost every extreme metal band on the face of the earth? Come to think of it! I mean, seriously... There´s no need to lift up, or underline any specific songs above other songs out from this totally impressive release as the whole album seriously kicks in in such a sweet and effective way that you don´t feel like removing the disc from your CD-player for a while once you have placed it in there. Against the Plagues have already all the aces ready in the sleeves of black leather jackets by which they are easily able to redeem their own spot on the top of the genre as far as extreme metal is concerned. I can already see some established and known labels fighting over for this band as an odor of talent can be smelled from long distances already. Against the Plagues definitely reeks of quality in every sense, whatever goes under that specific word. What more there is to say about THE ARCHITECTURE OF OPPRESSION then? Simply f***in´ brilliant. ++++++++++++ Former and present members of Forest Of Impaled come together to form Against The Plagues, whose debut release, The Architecture of Oppression, combines Melodic Death Metal with Symphonic Black Metal and Industrial. The sound is decidedly modern, with guitarists Wojtek Lisicki (Luciferion) and Adrian Adamus (Forest Of Impaled) using downtuned Death Metal riffs, shrieking Black Metal hooks and leads, and Industrially tainted rhythms to brew a distinct sound underpinned by Varyen\'s (Forest Of Impaled) punishing percussion and Logan Perez\'s warped bass. Perez and Lisicki handle the vocals, which consist of raspy spews and low-end growls. The combination of genres works well and the musicianship is tight and technical. The band relishes the majestic, and Martin Widel\'s keyboards really add to the epic style on display here. The combination of the harsh with the soft is effective, but some may not relish the infusion of melody in some of the songs. Nevertheless, Against The Plagues is never tedious, as the band like a chameleon changes approach at will while retaining an identifiable core sound. Fans of Symphonic Black Metal such as Dimmu Borgir should check this one out. ++++++++++++ You can expect high quality listening experience here, that\'s for sure. Having in mind, if only, all the bands the members of Against The Plagues have been involved with, this is not going to be an overstatement to say they know how to handle their instruments. \'The Architecture Of Oppression\' as a final product [of few ingredients fine mixture] sounds quite condense and powerful. I dare to compare Against The Plagues to masterworks of aficionados like Nocturnus maybe late Pestilence, but these are only free-association quick results of my own cerebrals. Yes, you guessed right, the key word here is progress. It\'s a musical journey into vastness of cosmos, also that of human mind. Trey Azagthoth worship is especially evident in Wojtek Lisicki\'s out-of-this-world solos. Quite enchanting are also keyboard sounds [Martin, great job!] entangled with the basic framework of superfluous guitars, bass and drums. Recording process, I suppose, was Dante-like journey thru hell; musicians must have gone thru many levels of mixing-it-all-together inferno. Meticulously worked out material will cause some jaws to drop, and without any major label financial support I call it simply success. Accompanying the music is verbal almost abuse on current human development [or rather it's lack] and a strong suggestion for all of us humans to follow our real life purposes instead of kneeling before false gods. As an ending let me quote some words from the band: \'In the name of the true existence we have created this unit to support the sacred war against all enemies, human and not, who uninterruptedly and calculatedly oppress and control our minds and bodies destroying our lives and the planet we live on.\' ++++++++++++++++ When approaching a self-produced album by a band associated with black metal, I rarely expect it to have a sound as clean and as solid as the sound featured on Against the Plague's debut LP, The Architecture of Oppression. Had previous knowledge of said album not existed, I would have sworn that I had been listening to a professionally produced album from a veteran band. Granted, Against the Plagues is comprised of musicians who have been in the metal scene for quite some time and who clearly know what they are doing. This album ismore musically structured and mature than I would have ever expected going into it. These are talented musicians who are (above all else) incredibly focussed and dedicated. Every instrument on The Architecture of Oppression is perfectly represented by the production. The drum work is meticulous and precise, and it is impressive from both a rhythmic standpoint and a technical perspective. There happens to be a large keyboard presence on this album, but the keyboard use isn't as overwhelming or flamboyant as certain other symphonic metal bands. Granted, it is a large aspect of the music, and it certainly makes it's dent on the album; on more than a few occasions, the guitars will take back seat while the keyboards drive the music. The music typically doesn't suffer from this. Contrary to many failed attempts (by numerous metal acts) to beneficially incorporate keyboards into a metal album, Against the Plagues' keyboard use only adds to the accessibility. With members coming from many different ends of the metal spectrum, it isn't an easy task to put your finger on one concrete influence. However, the easiest comparison one could make would be a Dimmu Borgir one. Vocalist Logan Perez sounds like a Shagrath clone numerous times throughout the album, but he refrains from relying solely on this vocal technique and uses a wide range of more guttural, death metal style vocals. The music is also similar to Dimmu Borgir's in the sense that it is very grand. The music is heavily weighed towards the black metal side of metal, but certain obvious death metal influences manage to shine through the haze. The drum work, for instance is very similar to many of today's more popular death metal acts, and the riffing is very intense and intricate more often than not which lends itself to the death metal side. I've never been one to equate originality with quality. Against the Plagues doesn't exactly do anything that hasn't already been done. Their sound, while more mature and serious than many of their contemporaries, is a familiar one. However, they do play this sound exceptionally well and even improve upon foibles created by past bands. There is a nice atmosphere to many of these songs, usually generated by the keyboards and how they play off of the guitars which is an element missing from the more popular black metal acts of today. While a black metal project at heart, certain tracks allow a death metal influence to overpower the black sound. Renegade Manifesto, for example is comparable to modern day Behemoth for it's high level of blasting and intensity. During the same song, the band slows the tempo down to focus less on force and more on atmosphere. This is a perfect representation of the band's general sound and their ability to never allow a song to become stale or repetitive. Against the Plagues may be a young band, but it is comprised of members who know exactly what they're doing. Their music works on so many different levels. It has a sound that is familiar enough to base a successful career in the metal community off of, but manages to retain enough artistic integrity to gain them credibility in the long run. I can't imagine what metal-inclined record label wouldn't salivate at the thought of having this band as part of their roster. You're going to hear from these guys again, that's for sure.