Review: Kollapse – Sult

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Ready to rage? It’s hot vaxx summer, literally and figuratively. Temperatures and tempers are high. People are quitting their jobs and rampaging through their workplaces. Given that, it’s surprising there hasn’t also been a public wave of band reshufflings and breakups in the metal world. On the contrary, this year has seen some excellent releases so far, and if the difficulties of 2020 continue to produce results like Kollapse’s Sult (“Hunger”) in 2021, perhaps extreme music listeners will ultimately benefit from the recent churn of world events.

Kollapse has had a rough go of it. Since releasing their solid first full-length Angst in 2017, they’ve dropped two members and been through the COVID ringer. The Danish post-sludge act was hanging on by a thread when they went into the studio last summer, reformed as a power trio, to crank out their second release. The result of that strife is now here in the form of Sult, and if your hot vaxx summer is undercut by social anxiety, disillusionment, and a touch of righteous anger, you should give this LP a listen.

Though Kollapse performs as a three-piece, this album is full-throated and aggressive, with lyrics barked entirely in the band’s mother tongue. Sult has been given the James Plotkin touch, and you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s an additional guitar or some synth in the mix (there are guest horns and some additional spoken vocals sprinkled throughout). “Drift” starts things off at a gallop, the vocals a call to arms. From there, each new track barrels forward out of the last, with “Drift” shifting seamlessly into single “Knæler” (“Kneeling”) via a bouncy riff with an almost Southern swagger.

Sult coheres nicely even when there’s a little slack. Kollapse’s rhythm section is relentless when the songs go full bore, but as “Drukner” (“Drowning”) demonstrates, the music does have plenty of room to breathe. This song is where comparisons to fellow post-metallers Cult of Luna feel apt, but like the first two songs, beefy basslines and a grungy sense of despondency keep “Drukner” firmly on the metal side of post-metal. It isn’t until the loopier riffs of “Byrd” that the band begins to flirt with a more abstracted, jazzy sensibility.

Sult is an album that, for all of its raw, pummeling, qualities, feels thoughtfully crafted. “Libido” and closer “Der, hvor jeg tænker, er der altid mørkt” (“Where I Think There Is Always Darkness”) distill the band’s more aggressive and introspective qualities, respectively, without interrupting the record’s flow. “Libido” in particular is a standout track, with its gritty urgency carrying Sult‘s back half. Its mid-tempo snarl shows a band in full control.

The final track is one of the few moments where the record drags and reveals the challenges of working as a trio—the middle of the song gets a bit tedious, as if the band were tired at the end of a set, though the song’s soft resolution satisfies, with the drums petering out to the mournful sound of a trumpet.

But, regardless of its more ponderous spells, Sult earns its runtime. There are riffs to hurl your tallboy to and moments for a solemn fist in the air. This is an angry, uncompromising record, with burly low end and a cynical sensibility that commands attention. If you, too, are as ready to hit the streets as you are to hit the pool, let Kollapse be your summer soundtrack.

4/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

Sult was released June 25 on Bandcamp via Fysisk Format.

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