When Plagues Collide
An Unbiblical Paradigm

Belgium’s When Plagues Collide released a damn solid debut album of symphonic/blackened deathcore back in 2019, Tutor of the Dying, before the genre really took off.

And honestly, it probably should have got more attention but then Lorna Shore happened, Mental Cruelty happened, Worm Shepherd happened, and Shadow of Intent happened. And then 1,234 other bands playing the style happened. And When Plagues Collide got kinda buried in the landslide of the genre explosion in 2020, despite a damn fine album.

I actually lost track of the band for a while, until a couple of singles popped up on Spotify and online deathcore groups, and reminded me these guys were still around and on album number 2, these guys have elevated themselves into the upper echelon of the genre with the likes of Worm Shepherd, Downfall of Mankind Shadow of Intent, Bonecarver and such.

As a brisk 32 minutes, there’s no wasted time here as the 8 songs all deliver the same orchestra/choir-filled, bombastic, breakdown-filled, demon vocal template delivered by all the above-mentioned bands.

The aforementioned orchestration and choirs are the best ones I’ve heard so far this year in the genre. I’m not sure who is credited with the composing, but they have a Francesco Ferrini-styled epic grandiose bombast- especially the choirs. In particular the likes of standouts “Death in Progress” (featuring Aborted’s Sven de Caluwe), “God Complex”, “The Glutton” or “Devourer of Memories”, where everything comes together, including great song writing, to be pretty goddamn top-notch.

And of course, there are breakdowns, and certainly, the above tracks (especially, “Death in Progress”, “The Glutton” and ‘Devourer of Memories”), others like the blistering “The Grand Mouth of Hell” have them and of course, they do the whole get slower and heavier thing while the vocals of Wouter Dergez get more and more demonic. The Lorna Shore effect is here in spades.

These guys deserved to be signed (Lacerated Enemy?) as in a year that’s seen a lot of newer, independent and lower-tier projects release excellent material, (mostly eps or digital only),  An Unbiblical Paradigm is on par with last year’s releases from Bonecarver, Synestia, Hanging the Hihilist, Downfall of Mankind and Shadow of Intent and by far the best blackened /symphonic deathcore record of 2023….so far.

Mental Cruelty– what ya got?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 28th, 2023

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