without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
My knowledge so far of Polish black metal has been mostly limited to a couple of ancient Graveland releases so I thought I should listen to something a bit more recent, like something put out since the year 2000. So it was I chanced upon the duo Plaga and this their first release, a demo back in 2009. First up, "Trąby zagłady" ("Trumpets of Doom"), a very appropriate title to announce Plaga's arrival on the BM scene, is a lively piece with an arch guitar sound and sharp drumming; there's high drama with the almost hysterical melody and the screechy demonic singing. I have no idea what the vocalist is banging on about as he's singing in Polish but the overall vocal delivery and the style of music generate an unhealthy and devilish ambience. Tremolo guitars are shrill and the pace of the music sometimes races between relaxed and steady on one hand and speedy on the other.
After an uninteresting guitar-only interlude, Plaga launch into "Triumfalny taniec" ("Triumphant Dance") which as the name says is a celebration ... only of course since the band's name is Polish for "plague", as in the bubonic plague, the celebration is of humanity's suffering as hordes of sheeple are made to shuffle off their mortal coils. The song flows less easily than "Trąby zagłady" and is very heavy lyrically. It does sound a bit clunky because the percussion is tinny and sharp, the guitars stay mostly at the high end of their range and the vocals, thin and wispy as they are, fights with the music for the listener's attention.
The band has a very good sound, sinister and predatory in tone, backed up by very strong drumming. The guys need to consider bringing the vocals a bit more to the fore in the final mix so that the instruments don't drown out the singing and the lyrics. Perhaps if the vocals were a bit more varied in style, so occasionally they'll be deep or clean-toned, feature some throat-singing (the vocalist really sounds as if he's up for some extreme experimentation) or maybe if there was a second vocalist, these possibilities would help balance the music a bit more.
Quite a commendable debut for the Polish black metal duo and I wish the demo had another song or two just for that sinister evil-jewel guitar sound.
It was by chance that I came upon Plaga on Youtube and ever since then I have been immensly glad and grateful for the music they've put out. Plaga is a band , of which very little is known. On the copy of the demo I have is the line "Plaga is Satanic Black Metal madness inspired by the glorious hand of the devil". it indeed is inspired by something truly tortured and morbid, like the devil himself!
Onto the music, Plaga , on this demo, plays Black Metal in the veins of the raw yet melodic style with very tortured anguished wails and screams spewed over the music. The drumming is excellent and keeps the music moving forward. The drummer utilises a few variations here and there and he is more than capable of what he's doing and does a good job. The drums aren't overtly complicated yet they are by no means simple. The drummer puts on a good show without stealing the spotlight. The guitars have melodic and (dis)harmonious riffs that flow in and out of each other slowly transforming riff after riff. These are beautifully crafted and well executed. The melodies sound sinister and there is plenty of tremolo picked riffs to keep the dismal atmosphere building. On this demo, Plaga create a unique style which borders on Depressive BM. The music has a very special aura to it and can be quite an emotionally overwhelming experience to listen to . After repeated listens I found myself quite drained of all energy I had. If you like some moody, dismal black metal with hateful overtones then this might be a good pick. The instrumental track has a clean tone to it and there is some bass audible there which is otherwise either drowned out or completely lacking on the other two songs. However, the three songs morph into a triology that has a natural flow and progression. The opener Traby Zaglady is easier to digest while the Triumfalny taniec takes a couple of listens to fully manifest and reveal itself. I highly suggest giving this demo a couple of spins to thoroughly enjoy it.
All in all a solid by this Polish psychopaths. Be sure to pick this up in either the Digipak version or the vinyl version. If you're a fan of Mgla, Furia and the ilk then this might be a nice listen.