Oh boy, where do I even begin with this one. There's just so much to say about it...and in the best of ways. Just a year or two ago, this band straight out of Aarschot, Belgium came onto the core scene and strived to expand the sound of the genre. When Plagues Collide are now back in our presence as a five-piece outfit that blends deathcore music with symphonic, melodic and even atmospheric influences (which we will discuss more in depth later on). Here is their latest and greatest work to date.
Scheduled to be released just a day after Halloween on November 1st, Tutor of the Dying serves as a follow-up to the band's last year release titled Shrine of Hatred. This new album will be available via Chugcore Records in addition to When Plagues Collide's own website. Tutor of the Dying is a ten song full length that encompasses a rather lengthy listening duration and features guitars, bass, piano and more. In addition, the album also includes guest vocal spots by fellow musicians Ben Duerr (Shadow of Intent), Luke Griffin (Acrania, Human Error), as well as Tim De Ridder (coRPus).
Right off the bat, I don't have anything negative to say about Tutor of the Dying at all. It's an incredibly fleshed out release that takes a bit of risks and throws in a ton of outside influences in addition to the heart of it being core music. The album starts off with a somewhat relaxing, yet somber melody that leads into the forefront of the mid vocals, sprawling guitar riffs and typical deathcore drumming that accompany it. I really have to say that, throughout this release, there is a strong melodic presence usually made up of choir-like chanting or background orchestras. Also, the symphonic elements take hold often and the piano segments appear in most tracks, which add a really eclectic sense of musicianship. The thing is, the piano sections are used just right and not too much so as not to sound too pretentious. There are also some acoustic sections, including an instrumental interlude about halfway in as well as some ambient parts as well. The guest spots on here really stand out and you can hear and distinguish them practically a mile away, unlike with a lot of other deathcore releases. In general, the highlight tracks on this album for me would have to be songs like 'Messengers of the Holy Falsehood', which gave Tutor of the Dying an incredibly powerful first impression with its overall structure and transitions from melodic section to heavy metal riffage and breakdown city mixed in with piano aura. Another MVP for this one is 'Fleshmould', a single that features Luke Griffin about a minute in. His disgusting, slammy gutturals and sequals really clash well with the overall ordered sort of feel to the rest of the track, giving it a rather unique and unorthodox feel. I also didn't mind the intermission track mentioned before, which was a nice change of pace.
All in all, Tutor of the Dying is truly one of those deathcore albums that seriously gives the genre a respectable name, with almost zero ounce of repetition or blandness. All of it is made up by heavy breakdowns, destructively aggressive vocals, pulse-poundingly exciting transitions, extensive innovation and memorable instrumentals that all come together to make something remarkable: and something that you'll want to listen to again and again. It's so out there and full of surprises that it kept my attention throughout my initial listen from start to finish...and it's an easy recommendation for any and all heavy metal enthusiasts. I think I just found a strong contender for my end-of-year lists.
Fave Tracks: 'Messengers of the Holy Falsehood', 'Fleshmould'
For Fans Of: Signs of the Swarm, Shadow of Intent, The Breathing Process
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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