Album Review – When Plagues Collide / An Unbiblical Paradigm (2023)

Belgium’s own Symphonic Deathcore institution returns with an even more impressive and bold opus that will certainly reach deep inside your blackened heart and soul.

Five years after the release of their excellent debut full-length album Tutor of the Dying, Zaventem, Belgium-based Symphonic Deathcore beast When Plagues Collide is back with an even more impressive and bold album, their sophomore effort titled An Unbiblical Paradigm, highly recommended for admirers of the music by Shadow Of Intent, Lorna Shore and Thy Art Is Murder, among others. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Yarne Heylen at Project Zero Studio, the new album by vocalist Wouter Dergez, guitarists Santy Van der Mieren and Joris Dergez, bassist Joshua Kinsbergen and drummer Siebe Hermans continues to showcase a focused and sharp band venturing through the realms of Melodic Death Metal, Symphonic Black Metal and Metalcore just like in Tutor of the Dying, but this time the quintet took up their music a notch, delivering an even stronger and more electrifying work that will certainly reach deep inside your blackened heart and soul.

An atmospheric start gradually evolves into a Symphonic Deathcore attack titled Converted Into Cipher, with Siebe hammering his drums mercilessly while Wouter roars and screams like a demonic beast, or in other words, it’s indeed a fantastic tune to kick things off; and things get even heavier and more infernal in Death In Progress, featuring guest vocals by Sven de Caluwé (Aborted, Coffin Feeder, Bent Sea), with Santy and Joris kicking some serious ass armed with their axes in the name of first-class Deathcore. God Complex is absolutely epic, imposing and majestic from start to finish, with the deep guttural by Wouter sounding truly inhumane in paradox with the song’s background keys, not to mention how thunderous the kitchen crafted by Joshua and Siebe is, whereas in The Glutton we face wicked lyrics barked by Wouter (“In the absence of daylight / We lay dying in the palm of the promised land / Where failure meets hate and mercilessness / Dominated by the sick and the cold / These barren grounds were always welcoming the nomads we are / An eternity of dying is nothing -Death is our womb”) amidst a furious Symphonic Deathcore madness.

Then the band’s stringed trio formed of Santy, Joris and Joshua will make your head tremble with their venomous riffs and bass lines in Monopoly Of Violence while Siebe keeps pounding his drums nonstop, followed by the demented The Grand Mouth Of Hell, most probably their darkest creation to date, showcasing all of their talent, rage and passion for extreme music spearheaded by the hellish gnarls by Wouter and the always piercing riffage by Santy and Joris. In Devourer Of Memories the band offers us all another round of their acid words (“This inexorable wind collects the lives of the lost and the wandering / Spreading sorrow and despondency / Whilst offering salvation through the breath of extinction / Reaching out her cold hands to deliver and ensure the loss of our cherished and beloved”) spiced up by their sick, heavy-as-hell sound, while ending the album we have the melancholic and atmospheric outro In Alle Stilte (or “in complete silence” from Dutch), with its delicate background sounds walking hand in hand with the words declaimed by Wouter.

The talented and hard working guys from When Plagues Collide are waiting for you with their undisputed Symphonic Deathcore on Facebook and on Instagram, and you can also stream all of their creations on Spotify. Furthermore, above all that, don’t forget to purchase a copy of the breathtaking An Unbiblical Paradigm from Apple Music, or click HERE for all things When Plagues Collide. It’s simply amazing to witness the growth of When Plagues Collide from their previous effort Tutor of the Dying to the sensational An Unbiblical Paradigm, positioning those Belgian metallers as one of the references in Symphonic Deathcore worldwide and, consequently, giving us several reasons to keep banging our heads and raising our horns to their first-class music.

Best moments of the album: Death In Progress, God Complex and The Grand Mouth Of Hell.

Worst moments of the album: I think In Alle Stilte could have been placed before Devourer Of Memories, which would have given the album a much more climatic ending.

Released in 2023 Necktwister/Sonic Rendezvous

Track listing
1. Converted Into Cipher 3:52
2. Death In Progress 5:03
3. God Complex 3:25
4. The Glutton 3:38
5. Monopoly Of Violence 4:23
6. The Grand Mouth Of Hell 4:33
7. Devourer Of Memories 4:39
8. In Alle Stilte 2:46

Band members
Wouter Dergez – vocals
Santy Van der Mieren – guitar
Joris Dergez – guitar
Joshua Kinsbergen – bass
Siebe Hermans – drums

Guest musician
Sven de Caluwé – additional vocals on “Death In Progress”


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