Belgium’s When Plagues Collide have tapped into absolute fury with their debut full length, Tutor Of The Dying, out November 1. They bill themselves as deathcore, but really, there’s a ton more to their sound and overall presentation than might first be garnered from that term. To cover familiar genre territory for a minute, they blend deathcore-esque breakdowns and the like with a furious — almost cathartic — black/death metal sensibility, taking their sound to the next level.
The band sounds and feels just huge on their debut record. On the one hand, they accomplish this feat through keeping their playing from becoming overly monotonous. They’re just as likely to rely on riffing, dissonance, or something else as they are to rely on obvious verse-chorus-breakdown structures. Honestly, they hardly rely on that familiar form at all, reaching higher than they would otherwise. Their choices allow their work to have more of a dynamic, narrative feel to it than it would through sticking to one particular idea (like breakdowns) and running with it.
The band’s careful usage of non-traditional instrumentation including ambience helps them along this same path. While their core playing spreads out far and wide, their overall drive goes even further thanks to their willingness to include something other than the same old guitar-bass-drums set-up. There’s a cinematic hugeness to their work. Their version of heavy, brutal music feels powerful, not crushing, like there’s a furious core of energy at its center just begging to get out. Going through the tracks feels like circling around and around a drain that a monster has its mouth open at, getting closer as one goes along.
For the right fan, the record proves a thrilling experience. Indeed — that’s part of what makes the record stick out at all in the first place. Thanks to everything from the instrumentation itself to the slick production, there is an experience to be had. The record feels the farthest thing from boring — and that’s pretty epic.
Listen below via Bandcamp