-- When Plagues Collide --
|■||Santy Van Der Mieren||Guitars|
Review written by Glenn Van Bockstaele.
In April 2017 Belgian symphonic deathcore band When Plagues Collide kicked off their carrier with the “Shrine Of Hatred” EP. A week ago, these five guys from Aarschot came out with their first full length, released through Chugcore Promotions. The album open up with “Messengers Of The Holy Falsehood.” A lengthy track starting with choir chants, zombie growls and piano tunes before the entire band gets unleashed unto your eardrums! What you’re getting further down this opener is a typically deathcore sound joined by a soft yet menacing piano melody and occasional dramatic chants. It gives this entire first tune an epic yet also very macabre feel as well as featuring vocalist Wouter showing off his impressive vocal range. He smoothly grunts, shrieks, yells and howls his way through this brutally pounding song with intimidating ferocity! Now that’s what we call a perfect startup!
Moving on from that awesome 6-minute intro is “Fertilization With The Body Of Men," which was first released as a single. It’s a more traditional deathcore song while still having a piano melody playing in tandem with the other instruments and raw vocals to give this track that same symphonic edge. The album’s third track “Legion,” is more black metal inspired. Particularly in its rhythms, reminiscent of the Black Dahlia Murder. A different kind of beast compared to the other tracks on the album, but the endless barrage of blast beats, bone-chilling shrieks, and eerie guitar riffs give this song its own kind of dark atmosphere. The fourth track, “Dictating Violence,” keeps the blackness going, maintaining a similar style of its preceding track but with more symphonic elements. This is one particular track where drummer Siebe is unleashing his drum skills to their highest potential. He produces beats that could’ve easily be included in an Immortal song. His finesse and timing truly help in bringing this album to an even higher level combined with the equally aggressive guitar riffs.
Moving on to “Als Imperative Grootmacht.” An acoustic interlude in the band’s Dutch mother tongue wherein frontman Wouter discusses death as a source of knowledge about the unknown and as an entity holding power over all mortal beings. But what makes this track so scary is the various whispers you hear during his monologue as well as the fact that some of Wouter’s lines get echoed by his black metal voice. After that little break we head to Tutor Of The Dying’s title track, a more typically deathcore song but with angel chants added to the mix and then on to “Fleshmould.” A tune that puts all of When Plagues Collide’s aforementioned huge musical arsenal to full use and adding in pig squeals, demonic monologues and bone crushing breakdowns! Up next is “Belials Archetype,” a slower and slightly more gentle sounding track but still maintaining a similar frantic pace as the earlier songs. The following track, “Marked For Destruction” goes back to the black metal influences but still having a typically deathcore feel. Finally there’s “Corpus Maleficus,” one final full-on deathcore song and “Vows,” an ambient track wherein moody violin and piano tunes slowly build up to an orchestral climax.
Overall, I’m pretty damn impressed by the band’s style and tight songwriting. They combine deathcore with symphonic and black metal and the result is a sound that feels thunderous, ferocious, orchestral and above all, varied and engaging. When Plagues Collide’s debut album is a true rollercoaster of deathcore symphony! Here’s “Fleshmould!”