When Plagues Collide
Tutor of the Dying

It’s been a fair while since a ‘real’ ( I use that term due to the crossover between death metal and deathcore in bands like Ingested, Fit For For an Autopsy, Lorna Shore and Organectomy and such) deathcore record tickle my fancy, probably something in 2017 or early 2018 (maybe Lorna Shore‘s Flesh Coffin?).

But here is the late 2018 release from Belgian act When Plagues Collide, and I mention Lorna Shore above specifically as they have the same blackened edge, with heavy synth use that also imbues Carnifex, Make Them Suffer and Winds of Plague before they sucked. It’s an apparent development from their 2017 debut Shrine of Hatred, and it’s not a light flocking, or an intro here and there, it’s pretty heavy-handed (almost Dimmu Borgir/Cradle of Filth levels) and ingrained in all of the songs, and to good effect, I might add.

But, as I have said since I started this writing lark, you are only as good as the riffs, and if the synths only provide window dressing and the music underneath is crap, then its for naught. Luckily, When Plagues Collide is one of those bands that would be a decent deathcore band even without the heavy keyboards, with huge breakdowns, crisp beefy guitars and the usual deep inhaled vocals and screams.

The keys add a layer of dramatic atmospherics as heard on the likes of the impressive personal favorite, “Legion”, which even adds some haunting female choirs to the fray, or another standout, “Dictating Violence”, which has some almost black metal bursts and a cool little piano break and more mid paced duo “Belial’s Archetype” and “Corpus Maleficus” (with a elegant string quartet meets deathore start). As I said, the synths are pretty heavily used, but if you want a slightly more direct, full-on deathcore bludgeoning, the band has the title track (even though there are some keys and the female choirs make an appearance) early parts of “Fleshmould” and burly (but also at times melodic) “Marked for Destruction”.

A couple of piecemeal instrumentals (” Als Imperatieve Grootmacht” and closer “Vows”- though it is beautiful ) are a bit contrived, but overall the album really reignited my dormant love of deathcore and throw in one of my true weaknesses, epic orchestration, I’m coming away really impressed with these guys and their sophomore release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
February 8th, 2019

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