Saturday, 5 January 2013

8½ - Collapse Control Fortress

EP review by

Northern Europe has for many years created some of the most spellbinding, stargazing, dreamy sounds ever made. An obvious and very famous example would be Iceland's Sigur Ros who managed to go from cult heroes to global sensation over the course of several years. Scandinavia too has produced some of the greatest dreampop records of recent times, records that seemed at odds with another high profile scene from that part of the world: black metal. The two seem poles apart, but thanks to a decade or more of post-rock, the two scenes are at least beginning to converge. Finland's fit into neither camp, but they borrow from each.

This three-track EP takes post-rock into less abstract pastures, especially on 'After The Collapse' which pumps these sounds up, almost removing the 'post' part of the equation altogether, yet you couldn't describe this as metal, it's more like stretching punk's ethos into a new form. 'Control' is a bit more easy to pinpoint, this is fierce modern day punk/hardcore and is condensed down into a more regular three-and-a-bit minutes. It's one ferocious beast though. Finishing this trilogy is 'Macchu Pichu Fortress' where they dive straight into hard rock and post-punk, maintaining some of the atmosphere associated with more ambient works. Again it's a powerhouse of a song. Maybe the brute force of the region's long-running metal scene is beginning to morph away from its tired formula at last.

8½'s  website

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