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Arm and the Covenant
June 2013
Released: 2013, Transcend Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

It's always nice to review a debut album, it gives you a first peek at what's to come from the world's rising talents within the music scene. Here we have the debut release from London's own "Collapse", their debut album "Arms and the Covenant" invites the listener to a world of melodic thrash with relentless drive.

Released on April 1st trough Transcend Music, the album has received many plaudits, and with good reason. If I could sum this album up in one sentence and comparison it would have to be "The UK's answer to Devildriver?". The question mark's appearance will be determined upon future releases and the bands' consistency, however "Arms and the Covenant" is a great platform and starting point.

The album opens with the title track, which instantly draws you in with it's thrash-like goodness, with plenty of satisfying groove. With influences from Devildriver, The Haunted, Carcass and possibly more, the album offers a devastating array of punishing musicianship which doesn't let up, even the breakdowns feel like a firm right hand to the face. The production on the album is second to none, not to mention the impressive song structure, a very appealing and non mundane song writing process has been undertaken here.

Standout tracks on the album, for me, include "The Death of Man", "Acolyte", and "Of Iron", for those real thrashers who don't care what their hair gets caught in. Is the album a world beater? I dare say it isn't, however it's a very good introduction to the band and new fans will expect more of the same and even a progression, so it is up to the band to live up to this release to reach a status that they desire. Having said, that the bands' CV is a very promising one, with festival appearances at Download, Bloodstock and Hammerfest under their belt and tours with the likes of Devildriver, Anthrax and GWAR, the band have definitely embarked on a promising journey. "Arms of the covenant" also offers different musical elements, tracks such as "Follow" takes a slower, spoken word approach with a satisfying drone before a Cillice esque chorus.

The aforementioned "Of Iron" will leave you breathless, Duncan's vocals venture through a forest of different genres, everything from death to blackened, whilst the guitar work is intricate and satisfying to say the least, a perfect mix of groove and melodic work.

The album concludes with a cover from one of their influences; Carcass' "Heartwork". A tough act to follow, you may say. However the London lads approach Carcass quite impressively with their own twist on a classic song. To me it is on par with Disarmonia Mundi's cover of "Mouth for War".

The bands' live performance has also received many plaudits and I will personally be looking out for them, do not be surprised if you see a UK tour featuring these brutal groove machines in the next 12 months.

Overall an impressive release from Collapse, but by no means groundbreaking. Look out for extensive tour plans and future releases, one to watch I'm definitely sure. For fans of Devildriver, Carcass, The Haunted.

Review by Andy May
Track Listing

1. Arms and the Covenant
2. The Cursed
3. The Death of Man
4. Resurrecting God
5. Acolyte
6. Bloodlet
7. Follow
8. Of Iron
9. Attrition
10. Heartwork


Duncan Wilkinson - Vocals
Andy Ongley - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Christian Stevens - Lead Guitar
Rainer Grönholm - Bass/Backing Vocals
Scott Harris - Drums

Next review: » Collapse - Scar the Silence [EP]
Previous review: » Coldwar - Pantheist

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