"this album stands like a giant concrete headstone, carved by hand with deep brooding riffs and furious bass lines, and inscribed with the lyrics that rumble and bellow across the coarse and monolithic city of the dead. All of this under crashing drums that bring with them a deluge of rain and thunder"
Back in July, we unearthed the first single from Swedish sludge/post-hardcore heathens KOLLAPS\E and to quote myself back then, “One thing that really makes ERA stand out from its peers is that even amidst those heavy and weighty passages, there’s a rigid and well-balanced melody that re-enforces the track, making it a very memorable piece of music”. Well, having taken time to absorb and immerse myself, mind and body in the full album, Phantom Centre, and I can say with my stony heart that this album stands like a giant concrete headstone, carved by hand with deep brooding riffs and furious bass lines, and inscribed with the lyrics that rumble and bellow across the coarse and monolithic city of the dead. All of this under crashing drums that bring with them a deluge of rain and thunder.
I’ve already spoken highly of the opening track ERA, so its no surprise that the following track, BEAUTIFUL DESOLATE was going to be a slab of melody-strewn sludge metal that pulverises and crushes. Powerful riffs and harrowing vocals pummel and shred under this delicately melodic yet aggressive tirade. Broken down with solemn plucked cords and the deftest of synths, the track ebbs and flows through a post metal wilderness. Beautiful Desolate really is a fitting title to a thunderous track.
UTHCEARE is a much calmer affair, with its slow and resonant guitars that reverb and bounce off the walls, creating great atmosphere and tension. Its patient and it’s played with great precision, which gradually exposes itself through a thundering rhythm section that’s led by that dark and dirty bass guitar. Dipping its toes into the post-metal waters UTHCEARE really showcases itself through lush warm harmonics and crescendo driven riffs. ANAEMIA is another track that opens with a rich vein of melody and emotive restraint, but eventually unleashes itself with more of those fiendish and near demonic vocals. But again, I find myself repeating myself when I talk about KOLLAPS\E ,they are as heavy as fuck, but there is this scaly, melodic skin beneath the belly of the beast that makes it completely spellbinding and absorbing.
Experimental sounds, piano keys and screeching cords unleash the wrath of BRANT BARN SKY amidst another fury of guitars, percussions, and synths while RADIANT//STATIC is a headfirst, in-your-face post-hardcore juggernaut. Deep, low-lying guitars and mid-tempo drums are the foundations of this track, along with some fret-swirling lead swells that overlap and push the envelope once more.
The album closes with MURRAIN, which brings more of the fury and post apocalyptic devastation that has littered this album from the outset. Another great track and another example of how KOLLAPS\E have mastered and managed to control the aggression of Phantom Centre, holding back, and deferring on some of that vehemence, to give the melody room to draw breath and release. Many styles of music are on display here, and each one an important cog in the wheel of coherence. KOLLAPS\E have excelled on this record, and have already set the bar high, so early in the year. The Helsingborg four-piece have stepped up and need to be counted.