Review: Collision – Live & Unleashed

Collision – Live & Unleashed (Hammerheart Records)
Review by Milos Sebalj

Back at the end of the previous century I bought my first live album on tape. With no CD player affordable in a poor, third European world country, all I had was an old shitty cassette deck with a couple of speakers well-weakened by their age. Being a young, inexperienced music fan, I returned the tape to the store because I seriously thought there was something wrong with it. All I could hear was some loud shrieks. At that point, I wasn’t even aware I had a live album in my hands. The store clerk explained it to me… Later on, I really got into the bootleg concert collecting. I can recall the feeling I had when I got my first recording of a concert I’ve actually been to, as well as listening to it repeatedly trying to reenact the memories of the event.

After all the years gone by, I’ve got to a point where I’m meeting the band for the first time via the live recording. And it is a Grindcore band. Luckily, “Live & Unleashed” has a very clear sound (as it can be with such genre in such an environment), as it would otherwise be next to impossible to make out what is being played here.

Collision is a 19 year old quintet from the Netherlands with a long back catalogue. Four full length albums and a list of split releases and EP’s are behind them. This is their first live album, recorded during their performance at last year’s “Grind the Nazi Scum” festival.

Saying that Collision performs a mixture of Death Metal and Hardcore would sound just like any other Grind band. And Collision does indeed. Grindcore, on the other hand, is a pretty hermetic genre in itself, so any attempt of innovation would probably end in ruin. However, the Dutch do mix it up a little. Some Thrashing riffs and rhythms in a couple of tracks spice things up a bit. Other than that, you get a normative Grindcore with diverse lyrical themes, ranging from anti-Christian and anti-social to classical gore.

Collision has ideas, and good ones. Guitar work is fine, with creative riffing and intense tremolos. Drummer also does his job to the maximum, keeping the brutality of the songs. While he can blast, he knows that it would be very boring to keep it that way too long. With that kind of attitude the tracks keep the focus of the listener, even though they rarely go above 2 minutes.

With all that in mind, I must mention “Live & Unleashed” has nothing outstanding to offer. It is a good release, but nothing more than that. Sure, the fans of the genre will rush to get it. Also, a band this old surely has a loyal following, especially in their home country. Outside of those circles, I cannot see any further expansion.

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