Collapsian ‘At The Left Hand Of The Sun’ CD/DD 2014
Collapsian hail from Phoenix Arizona and play a mean mixture of doom, sludge, black metal, psychedelic and progressive rock according to their bio. Honestly, I don’t hear much black metal or psychedelic/progressive rock in their music after listening to the opener Cold Hands. I am more reminded of Dutch band Herder or a dirtier High On Fire. First thing I noticed is the drumming, which is very groovy and has its very own style. The sound of the band is really gritty and raw and it sounds pissed off, which is always a plus in my book.
Second track The Hell That Never Ends continues in the same vein, heavy riffs being fired at you from all directions, but somewhere half way through a sudden blast beat erupts and the mentioned black metal influence comes through. After the blast, the band ventures into a riff befitting of later era Celtic Frost, relentlessly pummelling the listener into submission.
The album is laced with weird samples which add to the misanthropic vibe the band has. A great sample track, Apochryphungal, is about Jesus Christ actually being a magic mushroom…
Psychoderek opens up with some icy, ominous guitar picking which would not be out of place on any freezing black metal album and the combination of sampled voices and slowly swelling drums gives the whole a deeply threatening atmosphere. Only after a full three and a half minutes, a heavy doom riff sets in, still under laid with those unique drums that make it all more aggressive and indeed perhaps even somewhat progressive. Slowly the speed picks up but instead of exploding, the song ends with an eerie heartbeat sample with, what can be best described as, some demonic baby crying over it.
Next up is Calloused, which reminds me more of industrial bands like Godflesh or Phobos in the beginning. Soon however it is time for a riff that somehow manages to combine pure sludge with almost melodic death metal. After that, the song opens up unto a landscape normally only trodden by Norwegian black metal bands. A clear Darkthrone vibe is felt here and the hysterical screams combined with blast beats make for a good bit of black metal. But Collapsian would not be the band they are if they didn’t change into doomed sludge riffing after a short while.
After a short interlude about the ingredients of space and life we continue onwards to a bleak place. Weaker The Gripstein combines bleak black visions with hints of melodic death doom into a harrowing atmosphere. After roughly three minutes, a more Frostian doom riff sets in and some groove is added for good measure. The vocals keep on reminding me of Nico of Herder, menacing, angry, mad, and tormented.
And now we have arrived at the end of this album with Slew Of Wounds that opens with an all-out sludge assault and a riff somewhat reminding of High On Fire’s first album. Soon a cloud of echoing voices obscures the mind’s eye. Fragments of a monologue float through the riff soup, clearly a distressed individual is speaking of depression and what not.
At The Left Hand Of The Sun is quite bleak and at the same time, an angry album filled with misanthropy. It comes recommended for those with a taste for the more aggressive kind of sludge and for those that want to see the world burn.
Label: Self Released
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp
Scribed by: Kevin Kentie