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Plaga in a more melodic mainstream direction - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, December 10th, 2014

After a small demo release in 2009, this Polish black metal duo took their sinister music up another level with this EP "Pożeracze Słońc" ("Swallowers of Suns"). They really mean business this time with fiery music performed with flair and a definite high-pitched tremolo guitar sound. As on their first release, the drumming is consistently strong, the vocals are thin, raspy and ragged, and the guitars usually have a bewitching tone that spells E-V-I-L. A major difference between this EP and the first release though is a greater emphasis on melody, lead guitar solos and percussion flourishes, all of which among other things point to the band moderating its style to appeal to a wider audience for good and for bad.

As on the demo, there are three tracks that can be treated either as stand-alone songs or as a trilogy. "Goblet of Bitterness" is an aggressive fiery song of constant acid BM guitar downpour, a shrieking lead vocal, strident martial drumming in parts and spitfire lead guitar solo attack. The whole song throws down the gauntlet and announces that Plaga have arrived big-time in the world with its beefed-up instrumentation and thunderous delivery. It strays near the bombastic in its second half but for once having a thin sound stops the music from sounding too much like overkill. The production may not be great but every instrument can be heard clearly.

The other songs are more relaxed and show a shift towards a more melodic and commercial style of heavy metal with emphasis on lead guitar melodies, crunching riffs and a definite rock'n'roll groove in the rhythms. The singing veers close to hammy and histrionic with the screaming and the guys could have eased off on the moaning and allowed the music to express the pain and despair. The music becomes very lumbering and overly busy in the last track with the drummer whacking more tom-tom rolls than are really needed and the singing stuck in theatrical screeching-banshee or burning-sinner-in-hell mode when not chanting the lyrics.

Plaga is definitely interested in becoming a major league metal band but whether the turn towards a melodic and commercial heavy metal direction is in their long-term interests is another thing. I'd have preferred they stay in the underground scene refining their sound and style and determining their own lyrical and musical journey. The A-side (the first song with its English-language lyrics) is the best part of the EP for me but the other tracks, for all the display of the musicians' technical abilities (and they are impressive), are a waste of the band's time and talents. I despair when good bands are persuaded to play down to the lowest common denominator.

Quality black metal from Poland - 100%

ondspiritism, September 6th, 2012

Plaga, meaning ‘the plague’, are a Satanic black metal band hailing from Poland. Participants within this project remain completely anonymous. Their EP, ‘Pożeracze Słońc’, was put out in 2011 by Societas Oculorum Arcanorum.

The sound permeating from this EP is a satisfying balance between raw black metal mixed with a subtle traditional heavy metal sound. Quite honestly, this is one of the only bands who can maintain this kind of multifarious combination. The production is not clean, but rather unforgiving and primal. The guitar is absolutely mind-bending and crepuscular, with some riffs that are very rock and roll. These riffs are nothing short of entrancing and memorable.The bass surely does not reveal itself and is drowned out in the majority of the mix; however, the EP is strong enough on its own that it is certainly not missed.The vocals are traditional with screams of full of despair in the distance, and the drums are tasteful and full of interesting fills – a very intriguing listen.

Plaga are a gem among Polish black metal, producing an exclusive sound that is not to be forgotten. Looking forward to what is next on the horizon for this project.

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