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War against the plagues. - 79%

Andromeda_Unchained, November 28th, 2011

stumbled upon these guys due to the fact they have Wojtek Lisicki playing in the band, it was one of those days where I was spinning Lost Horizon thinking to myself "I wonder if any of these guys are doing anything exciting at the moment." A quick Internet search and I found myself listening to Against The Plagues and the track in question, "Great Are The Eyed"... let's just say I had my ass kicked. If melodic black metal with death metal touches is your cup of tea, then Decoding the Mainframe is an album worthy of your attention.

What really struck me about these guys is their tasteful use of keys and guitar solos, in particular the guitar solos which really speak out to me. Reminiscent of Lost Horizon in places – this is of course due to "Transcendental Protagonist's" input (Wojtek for the uninitiated) – guitar solos spring up at the most opportune of times with a very mystical sound, never overbearing, just tastefully done. Tracks such as the aforementioned "Great Are The Eyed" display this band's sound perfectly, with furious blast-beats coupled with the ferocious vocals of Orlando Logan Perez and backing vocals courtesy of Wojtek, all intertwined with interstellar keyboard passages and of course those impressive guitar leads that sound right out of another dimension.

Of course, Decoding the Mainframe isn't just a one trick pony, with each of the tracks on offer being equally impressive. At eight tracks and just under 45 minutes this is a nice listen that doesn't overstay its welcome with tracks such as "War Against The Plagues", "Force From Within", "Order Of Decay" and of course "Great Are The Eyed" all really stand out to me as highlights on this release. Overall this is one of the best "extreme metal" albums I've heard this year, and while utilizing some fairly common conventions this manages to stay adrift amidst the stream due to some fairly original touches. Fans of black/death should certainly check this out, as this is a great listen.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com