Tuesday 22 November 2022

Calm Collapse - Mirrored Nature (Album Review)

Date Released: November 25th 2022. Record Label: Spartan Records. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Mirrored Nature: Tracklisting

Positive Greed

Sounds God

Brad Delp

Subtle Beast

Welfare Tour


Shadows Paroled

Stairwell From The Moon


Doug Lorig

Rob Smith

Jonathan Pease


Calm Collapse is made up of members from the Indie Rock scene and whilst their debut album Mirrored Nature has Indie Rock vibes, this album is purely made of Prog Rock, Noise Rock, Grunge with massive Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves akin to bands such as Mastodon and Melvins. The album also has influences from bands such as Soundgarden and Torche in places. Recording and Mixed duties are handled by Matt Bayles who knows a thing or two about certain heavy grooves thanks to his work with bands such as Mastodon and ISIS.

Mirrored Nature contains eight tracks where Calm Collapse moves throughout the history of the Heavy Rock spectrum of the last forty years or so. However, this album remains thoroughly modern while striking a perfect balance of Indie Rock sounds with the heavier and more dynamic Sludge/Stoner Metal parts of the album.

Opening song Positive Greed opens with a more commercial heavy rock groove before Calm Collapse starts adding elements of Noise, Grunge, and Sludgy grooves that goes quite Spaced Out rock towards the end of the song. The vocals are equally powerful with a certain Grungy charm to them. There's a certain King Buffalo energy when the track slows the mood right down for a lush Cinematic and Psychedelic Post-Rock or Post-Stoner feel.

Second song Sounds God offers a heavier approach with that Indie Rock vibe working superbly well with the heavier Alt Rock flow of the track. The song revels in its 90's bold drive with a grungy atmosphere being more fast-paced than I originally anticipated. Perhaps one of the more gloomy offerings thanks to the sublime lyrics written for the track. Calm Collapse brings a certain style of calmness to the album whilst playing a refreshing blend of aggressive Psych Rock/Metal.

Third song Brad Delp opens with a killer guitar or bass solo before the Hardcore Punk vocals breaks up the peaceful mood to a more volatile energy. The song can be quite hard to describe in places with Calm Collapse moving between Punk Rock, Grunge, Noise Rock, Psych Rock and Prog Metal with echoes of WEEZER, Mastodon and QOTSA being felt through their wonderfully powerful and creative sounds on the album. This song remains superbly original with the band showing brilliant flashes of EPIC PSYCHEDELIC GROOVES that is violently addictive but so damn catchy at the same time.

Calm Collapse continues with this style of music for the remainder of the album on tracks such as Subtle Beast, Welfare Tour, Shadows Paroled and Stairwell For The Moon. The album does see Calm Collapse merge uplifting Ambient Post-Rock passages for a more reflective style of music whilst maintaining their Sludge/Stoner Metal presence on the later stages of the album.

If you loved HUM or Museum Of Light most recent albums then there's much to admire here with Calm Collapse offering similar Psychedelic and Melodic compositions whilst still being original in it's own right. The second half of the album also sees Calm Collapse play the heaviest and intense sounds on the entire record. 

The added bonus of Indie Rock sensibilities allows Calm Collapse to release an album that is a breathtaking, bold and daring style of Sludge Rock/Stoner Metal that you don't really hear that often. Mirrored Nature is an outstanding release that's fast becoming one of my favourite albums of the year even this late in the game as well.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mike at Earshot Media for the promo.

Mirrored Nature is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Spartan Records from November 25th 2022


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