Poland is home to some of the heaviest bands on the planet – entities such as Vader, Decapitated and Behemoth have toured all over the world, spreading the infernal legacy that has placed their country on the extreme metal map. Meet the mighty Northern Plague, a collective of dynamic musicians ready to rage their way into the hearts and banging heads of many a death metal aficionado. Manifesto is their debut full length for Folter Records, a declaration of sonic war that will pummel the senses of all whom encounter its glorious reprieves. Here is a recent interview we conducted with founding member Fenris to find out more about the metal brigade known as Northern Plague. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Northern Plague, and how long the band has been together.
Hey! I’m Fen – founder, vocalist and guitarist in Northern Plague. The Band exists since 2009 and now it’s become definitely a good machine with stable lineup and many plans for the future.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We live in Bialystok in north-east Poland. Here is our home and here we have our “warcamp”. The local scene is strong in music but lazy in promotional issues. I see many nice bands, but they often do not know how to spread their songs, how to get reviews…
If I can suggest, you should listen In Extremis – it’s an old, experienced band and they just released their new album “Screaming Poetry“. Check it out!
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Manifesto?
Yes of course! A title of an album without any concept is not a title at all. During the creation of “Manifesto“, writing songs and lyrics, I knew that we need a strong and simple title. Something like a standard, pure sign, symbol which tells – “This is OUR music and no one will break us.” This album is very important for us – first full-length material, months of preparations, first full-sized contract with a label… It is our personal manifesto and when I told it to my bandmates, they accepted it immediately.
Select two songs from Manifesto and what inspired the lyrics.
Reign Mother War – a dark prayer to the mother of whole humanity. From the beginning of time, all around the world, we identified war and death with women. Goddesses like Ishtar, Freya, Neit are the best examples of this kind of faith. Lyric in this song is a scream, it’s begging for blessing and forgiveness for what we do, for all cruelty and sins. Mother of the universe still listens and who knows, maybe she is ready to visit our world again?
Manifesto – the title song of the album and very personal lyric to me. It is sigil of my point of view for life and goals we want to reach. “My claws nested in further, harder, faster than the others” – important verse where you may find the clue to understanding sense of this album. You know, many people didn’t belive that we are able to record something more than “Blizzard of the North“. Release of “Manifesto” is our personal victory.
Who did the artwork for Manifesto and how much influence did you have on it?
Artwork for Manifesto is created by Lukasz Radziszewski. It’s made by his hands, but idea born in our minds. We wanted to show that all what surround us, symbols, ideologies, countries, money, borders, religions – they are our roots but at the same time it’s our curse and corruption. It is something like the air – usually polluted and full of toxines, but we cannot live without it.
What could one expect from a live Northern Plague show?
Live shows are one of the most important things for us. When we are on stage, we really feel that this is it! Smell of a club, thousands of kilometers in a van, fatigue after playing a good show, nice party with bandmates and fans – that’s what we live for. During our performance you may expect atmosphere, uncompromising intensity. Be sure we put all our hearts and power in the show because we love it.
What was it like opening for Vader and were they cool to hang out with?
Vader is one of the most important bands for me and a true legend in Poland. It was an honour to play at the same stage during the Back to the Black Tour. A lot of metalheads in every club, nice atmosphere, professional crew – a dream of every young band. Peter is an experienced musician but he’s a very nice person, the same with rest of band. Some days ago I met him in Studio Hertz in Bialystok. They’re recording a new album. Can’t wait!
What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
My favourite beer is Paulaner and Ciechan Miodowy. I’m sure you know the first one but the second beer is manufactured in Poland. It’s a beer with a strong taste of honey – I really like it 🙂
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing Manifesto for the first time?
“Wow, what a sound! It’s their first full-lenght album?!” 🙂
To be clear, I do not expect anything, because music is a very personal thing. Everyone feels different and you will like drums, somebody will like guitars et cetera et cetera. I hope that everybody will hear our hearts and feelings in each song.
Has Northern Plague ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
Maybe in the future… Now we are focused on Europe and it is our priority for the upcoming months. But we are open for any opportunity.
What’s up next for Northern Plague?
25.01.2014 is the premiere of “Manifesto“. Later we will play some shows in Poland and abroad. In April/May we have a plan to play big tournee in eastern countries (Russia, Ukraine). What’s more? At this time I cannot tell but be sure that in 2014 we will play a lot of shows.
Any final words of wisdom?
Thanks a lot for your time! If you are interested and want to listen to Northern Plague, please visit our official site, Facebook or YouTube. “Manifesto” is coming and I hope you will be with us during this time.
Northern Plague is:
Fenris – guitar, vocal
Janus – lead guitar
Ghorakh – bass, additional vocals
Damyen – drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
Northern Plague on Facebook