I don’t like Hardcore. Or anything ‘core’, actually. That’s what I told myself when I picked up Kollapse‘s newest piece Sult from the review pipe. And that’s usually true. Because any one of these ‘styles’ really pushes my anger button(s), instead of calming things down.
So, in this light, perhaps this should be my war music of sorts. You know, when battle breaks loose and the enemy is numerous. Show me yer war face1), that kind of thing.
Yet here, whilst thinking negative thoughts, I suddenly found myself in the middle of the record. So, something must have hypnotized me into overstaying my very own welcome. And Loki only knows what it did to my mental defenses when I was gone. So, damn you, Sult, now we need to dig deeper into your sick depths.
Actually, reducing this record to something called ‘core’ only, may be a bit too simplistic. The piece certainly doesn’t deny its punky roots. But the desperate pseudo Hardcore screams come with a fair dose of pretty mean dissonance. And that trait usually lives with the folks of the trve out-of-the-box Extreme Metal kind. Now, Kollapse here artfully intertwine those extremist shenanigans with sturdy ambients and Post Metal elements to create this atmosphere of despair. That’s the kind of spice we were looking for.
This is obviously driven home by that tortured and terrifying album cover. A skinless visage that leers at you with eyes it cannot close. And it does that with an unholy hunger that is difficult to dismiss. It’s funny, that sentiment struck me before I even read the description the band provided. One that – incidentally – talks about – wait for it – hunger and desperation as its main theme. So, I guess Kollapse hit this one right on the head, well done.
All of that hungry terror comes with a throaty and meaty bass that I have seldom heard like that, this side of the now-defunct Riti Occulti.2) Drukner probably drives its value home best. The crew here truly enjoyed that bass / lead guitar riff combo somewhere towards mid-point. One that comes with a huge serving of astute Heavy Metal flavoring straight from the hell of doom. That’s despair incarnate right there, a friggin’ master class in projecting sentiment.
Now, whilst other bands in the dissonant field go for high intensity and try to bludgeon you to death with a ton of abrasive metallic objects, these guys drive emotion in full immersion mode. Dark, ominous melodies change place with ambient acoustics that are almost beautiful.
Only to be recalled to your current stark reality by those relentless angst-ridden screams and merciless drums that bore down on ye like a friggin’ freight train. And all of that surfs on a slightly muddy wave of noisy synth geekery and sludgy riffing prowess. Together with a low-level groove that the RMR crew here appreciated, but – frankly – did not make a lot of sense of. But then, why try to make sense of things, when everything else is raw and the skin just wore off yer sorry skull, right?
In the end, Sult truly projects a nightmarish soundscape of doom, despair, and – indeed – an unholy hunger that cannot easily be sated. The band masterfully created this sonic place where unease reigns supreme and terror is always right around the corner.
Whenever you start to feel secure in your escape from all those dystopian visions, some terrible force worse than Thor’s hammer shatters your hopes. And you’re forced to endure its spine-chilling messaging until the weird trumpet solo on the last track scratches on to its very end. Pretty much the same fate that the figure on the album cover seems to suffer.
In other words, and to slightly twist one of the band’s statements, Sult “…plods on, until it doesn’t”. It’s a force unto itself, a metallic masterpiece of doom and damnation. And we enjoyed every minute of it, believe it or not.
Get dat tune: