So yeah…this band AGAINST THE PLAGUES who’s been around for a decade was totally new to be before their latest record Purified Through Devastation (out now, Non Serviam Records) showed up at my door. As the metal year is coming to a close, it’s always nice to hear one more band that makes you go, “FUCK YEAH!!” when checking them out for the first time. That’s exactly what I did at work the other day. It was quiet, so I popped the album in and was immediately impressed with the way these guys put songs together. There is conscious thought as to how the pieces are structured, something that shines through almost immediately.
Drummer Varyen is a man possessed on songs like “Praetorian Icon” and “Man’s Modern World”, while the guitar duo of Jon Corston and Aaron Covarrubias keep shoveling coal into the Furnace of Riffs, thus ensuring they have plenty to unleash on everyone’s ears. Bassist Milo Kovacevic is totally dialed in with his bandmates, something you’ll really notice when you have your headphones on. I truly believe that’s the best way to enjoy this disc. Vocalist Shaun Albro has only been in the band for two years, but on each and every one of these tracks he serves notice that he IS the new Sheriff in town and his screams and growls only solidify that.
“Terrorform” is without a doubt one of those all Hell breaks loose kind of tunes, and I’m sure many of you will want to put your heads through some drywall while headbanging and generally going crazy. Go ahead, it’s pretty cheap to repair the holes; I’ve done it. “All Flesh Had Corrupted” has got to be one of the best tunes for a gym mix (I imagine…I clearly don’t lift) with its potent blend of brutality and power. The vibe of “Extermination Event” is one where people are under attack and need to fight, and fight hard. You can feel it in the relentless pounding of the music as well as Albro’s vocal delivery.
One of the bigger standouts right away was “Enblightened.” I really like the arrangement to go along with the deeper, more guttural growls of Albro. Closer “Enemy Herein” has riffs for days, while instrumental “Falling Further” brings a dark, ominous, and menacing feel to the proceedings. All told I truly enjoyed Purified Through Devastation. I think the guys are very, very talented, and I would like nothing more than for them to hit Philly on the upcoming tour so I can take this stuff in live and in person. Check out AGAINST THE PLAGUES…you won’t be sorry.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Enblightened”, “Praetorian Icon”, “Man’s Modern World”, “All Flesh Had Corrupted”