Thursday 5 January 2023

KOLLAPS\E - Phantom Centre (Album Review)

Release Date: 13th January 2023. Record Label: Trepanataon Recordings. Formats: CD/DD/Cassette

Phantom Centre: Tracklisting


Beautiful Desolate



Brant barn skyr elden




Dennis Akesson - Bass

Johannes Landgren - Drums

Peter Walefors - Guitars

Daniel Wallenborg - Guitars/Vocals


Swedish Sludge/Post-Metal collective KOLLAPS\E debut album Phantom Centre follows the similar destructive path that bands such as Neurosis, ISIS and CULT OF LUNA are known for. There's more of a Crust Punk and Doom Metal flavour to KOLLAPS\E overall sound. The harsh vocals and Ambient Post-Rock hooks offer a bleak exercise which the band exploit to their full creative advantage.

Opening song Era is a gloomy violent song with bleak vocals merging with Ambient Post-Rock and Psych Metal surprisingly well. The Sludge/Post-Metal grooves are a mixture of fast-paced sounds and slower soundscapes for a song that's quite exciting to hear once the band unleash a torrent of Sludgy riffs with Psychedelic elements that can be quite "riff-centric". The "less is more" production style for the album allows KOLLAPS\E to bring a more realistic approach to their music and reminds me of early-era ISIS.

Second song Beautiful Desolate continues with the harsh Post-Rock/Post-Metal landscape but with a faster approach where the music is concerned. Bleak vocals and dark lyrical content sees the band move further into Progressive Metal territory with a wonderful sounding Psych Sludge Metal backdrop that has an air of calmness despite the superb and intense vocals from Daniel. The song does have an "Industrial" vibe towards the later stages of the song that allow this track to be one of the standout tracks on the album.

Third song Uhtceare opens with a gloomy Psych Post-Rock riff that lasts an age. Ice cold and quite solitary before the band start adding Ambient textures with Post-Doom guitars that can be quite distorted in places. The song is quite multi-layered with the QUIET vs LOUD moments offering KOLLAPS\E plenty of room to play heavier sounds. The song feels inspired by CULT OF LUNA classic album Eternal Kingdom but still being it's very own thing. The Crust sound is very atmospheric and this ends up being another one of the album's standout tracks. 

Three songs down and four to go with KOLLAPS\E impressing even further on tracks such as: Anaemia, Brant barn skyr elden, Radiant//Static and Murrain being even heavier than the first half of the album despite the majority of the tracks running under the five minutes mark. Heavy Psych Sludge guitars are perhaps the main creative weapon of choice for this part of the album. Though, the songs are vastly different to each other especially on Anaemia and Radiant//Static being the standout tracks on this part of the album.

The instrumental work is excellent yet again with KOLLAPS\E bringing back the mid-2000's legendary Post-Metal sound but giving it a more modern Psychedelic Sludge and Ambient Post-Rock edge. The production values as I said earlier are more DIY based compared to other bands within the scene, However, everything sounds EPIC and has a seedy tone that definitely allows KOLLAPS\E to create an unflinching and highly unapologetic atmosphere which what a great Post-Metal album should have.

Overall, Phantom Centre is an excellent release and welcome addition to the Sludge/Post-Metal underground scene with KOLLAPS\E proving their creative worth here. The album could have been on a little bit longer but apart from that minor complaint, Phantom Centre is a first rate album packed full of sublime heavy grooves and Ambient sounds that showcases why KOLLAPS\E could become major players within the underground scene in the years to come.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to KOLLAPS\E for the promo. 

Phantom Centre will be available to buy on CD/DD/Cassette via Trepanation Recordings from January 13th 2023.


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