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9.5/10 Chaim

KHROMA - Collapse - CD - Inverse Records - 2014

Put your seat belts and helmets on, because we're going to take off, leaving the ground in this vehicle of might and plight and metal of alien source, also known as Collapse. This album will dismantle your reality and throw you into another plane of existence, where machines rule the land and heartless creatures hunt down every human being still alive. An alien ship hailing from the stars and returning back to its celestial home after everything on Earth has been torn apart. Collapse is alienating music for an alienated generation, its punishment and its final redemption.

Hands down, Khroma is currently the best industrial band in existence, bar none. Collapse is a mammoth of twisted metal, industrial might and hatred galore toward anything human. Collapse is so hostile and cold, it will peel your brain tissue off with precise and calculated cruelty, make your skin crawl, while your mouth tastes the sour, cold and bitter flavor of corroded metal.

We wanted to hate this album so much, based on a wrong assumption (following a first and obviously wrong impression) that it is some (waste) product of the pop-core culture, something in the vein of Korn and other try-hard nerds; but once the music began rolling, we have realized our mistake. This album is totally in a league of its own. It's all the heaviness of Fear Factory combined with the coldness of Red Harvest and the juggernaut hostility of Strapping Young Lad, multiplied by fifty. A classic example of how a band can transcend its inspirational deities and synergize numerous musical influences into something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

And thus, we are presented with Collapse, an electronically-affected, metallic, industrial monster showcasing some phenomenal songwriting abilities, celebrating a style that is unique in the sense that every influence the band has incorporated into this album had been driven to the most extreme point of expression; everything has been given a power-shot, an energy boost, resulting in a pumped-up, sonic delivery full of muscle power and aggression, and hate. Oh, the hate.

The rhythms are intricate, and despite the fact the songs themselves are pretty linear and repetitive, these complex, rhythmic patterns render the music progressive or advanced in the industrial music context. The compositions maneuver between the coldest, machine-like, robotic melodies embellished by otherworldly, distorted guitar lines, moments of pure electronica and moments of almost ethereal sounds.

In the hands of a less talented band, this material could have become a total sham. It seems to portray all the cliches found in pop-core (the aforementioned Korn as well as Coal Chamber and Slipknot come to mind), as well as in the godawful post-thrash metal a-la Meshuggah's later stuff (groove metal is it? with all that annoying tremolo-picking galore?) and in the quasi-industrial fluff of Rage Against The Machine and Rammstein. Sounds pretty awful, right? Wrong! This concoction of popular music styles has been given a pummeling interpretation, and being injected with massive doses of negativity and hate it is driven right into the heart of the unsuspecting victim, to the hilt. This music is the embodiment of grievous, bodily harm with an extra amount of malice, Finland style.

What could have been considered goofy, becomes tragic; what could have been regarded as comical, becomes melancholic and freezing; what could have been habitual, becomes phenomenal, enormous, devouring, acid-filled, mechanized, godless. Collapse is the philosophy of hate, laid out before your eyes and summed up in 35 minutes of futuristic, dystopian deconstruction of the human condition.

Pray for shelter... (9.5/10)


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