To the outside world, Kollapse are somewhat of an enigma. Not so much a shiny, unopened ball of interest, as they are a beaten down, trampled out of shape, ball of angst, wrapped in human waste and torn flesh. Practically unknown, this Danish three piece have spent their existence carving their name into a well-worn wall of sludge metal graffiti music. Not much is known, they are a virtual mystery, but Kollapse have arrived, ready to lay out a new path in the scene, one that will redefine what you think you know already about sludge and post-metal.
Following on from debut offering, Angst, this, their second full album, Sult, will leave you literally trembling with anxiety and fear, in its wake. Hard to categorise completely, and so unique that to even make a comparison to ANY other band would be an injustice, Kollapse find themselves on a really interesting plateau indeed. Their sound is as intoxicating as it is abrasive, and even after multiple listens, I still struggle to form any eloquent statement to really satisfy just how they leave me feeling.
They truly are something of a mystery. Dark, foreboding, and intense, if you are on for the ride, strap yourself in, and hold on for dear life, as things are gonna get very bumpy.
As Sult opens, track one, Drift, sets the scene. Even from the opening bars there’s a pensive, dark and gloomy dank feel. Its foreboding nature is only heightened when the vocal kicks in. it’s as punishing as it is visceral, the stuff nightmares are made of. Hard, urgent, and throbbing, its dense sound has me thinking of Tool, but not in any way for a proggy nature, as this couldn’t be any further removed if it tried, but because the soundscapes are as artistic, and every bit as otherworldly as the dreamscapes Tool have made a trademark. It’s an opener which is full of hatred and angst, but it’s completely intoxicating, and sets the scene for the rest of the opus.
Knæler continues with the adventure, there are moments when it appears to let up in intensity and ferocity, but these are only temporary, as when the heavy returns, it feels even more menacing than before. Drukner greets us with a far more ambient start, as a mid-paced instrumental passage guides us through. Always on the edge of my seat, waiting for the impeding crash of sound, I’m rewarded a good few minutes in, with a visceral display that Satan himself would be incredibly proud of. As the vocal really kicks in, the ambient start is a distant memory. The delivery is ferocious and bombastic, and full of primal rage. The soundtrack is a purely primal outpouring, powerful and intense, yet satisfying and ponderous at the same time.
This album didn’t disappoint from the opening bars to the dying seconds…
Track four, Byrd, brings in those sludgy highs, and with its hardcore vocal, over a pummeling sludgy soundtrack, it’s absolutely vicious. As it ebbs and flows, there’s a real juxtaposition between the slowed breakdowns, and the up-tempo passages, where we are dragged into the abyss again. Libido only solidifies the nature of the band, with another throbbing slab of pure aggression, intense, apocalyptic, and guttural.
Album closer Der Hvor Jeg Tænker Er Der Altid Mørkt rolls in at almost twelve minutes, and what a ride it is. The ambience of the soundtrack, mixed with an abrasive guttural vocal performance, clearly defines everything that Kollapse are. It lurches its way along, like the undead, and feels like it will go on forever. There are passages of expressive guitar work, which bridge the gap, and take us into each evolution wonderfully.
Again, never ones to rest on their groundwork, Kollapse shake things up, and there’s a completely spellbinding section where a trumpet rides chaotically over the guitar ambience, and even this isn’t an unwelcome presence. As the dying minutes roll in, the tempo shifts again, and as the guitar drops off, an unsettling electronic ambience carries the trumpet for the remainder of the track. As the album dies off, the feelings of anxiety remain as this absolute enigma continues to haunt me, long after the room falls silent.
Coming to this album, I had a completely open mind, I didn’t know what to expect, and after seeing one of the promotional videos, I knew I was in for something really special. This album didn’t disappoint from the opening bars to the dying seconds and if you’re out there, looking for an experience, more than just a moody sludge album, then I implore you to hunt Sult down, because I think it will really open your eyes to just how versatile the genre can be. One for the ‘must buy’ list as it will leave you fulfilled, and slightly unhinged too. Enjoy… if you can…
Scribed by: Lee Beamish