It seems nowadays that every band gracing the extreme music scene has to be the next The Babadook, a movie that still sits loosely in its genre (horror), but provides enough of a coherent plot and “rich character development” to earn it critical acclaim on a wider scale. However, extreme music has enough of its own The Babadooks, be it from Deafheaven to Dragged Into Sunlight, and sometimes a good, hack-n-slash horror movie is just what is needed. With that in mind, enter Collision, a band who sure as hell isn’t winning any awards for ground breaking experimentation but nevertheless manages to deliver an original, fun slab of extreme music in the form of their newest offering, Satanic Surgery.
The claim that Collision is the equivalent of a B-rate horror movie is not meant to be an insult, despite how initially demeaning it may seem. After all, sometimes the occasion calls for an over the top, mind numbing work of art that will leave you reflecting on its true meaning for days, but for the other 90% of the time, a simple, fun work will do. Not everything must be ground breaking and innovative, and where many bands fail is when they do not recognize that and attempt to push into a territory that is awkward and ill suited for them, causing their records to ultimately sound uninspired and fall flat. Collision, however, is not one of those bands, and is more than comfortable wearing the suit that fits them, creating with Satanic Surgery a record that wreaks of their own distinct mark on it and, while musically nothing mold-breaking, is so fun it’s hard not to at least crack a smile while listening to the over the top lyrics and music.
However, this is not to say that Collision is your simple cut-and-paste grindcore band, as that would be doing them a great disservice. Despite not being groundbreaking in many ways, it is hard to ignore the plethora of influences that the band manages to cram into their sound, be it from thrash riffs reminiscent of Municipal Waste, to the random, groovy sludge riffs, or even just the most obvious grindcore influences that dominate most of the album. They aren’t experimenting with atmospheres or staking out new, exciting, avant garde territories, but making a sound that is distinctly and comfortably their own, allowing for Collision to create an album that sounds like they actually enjoyed making it.
Take, for example, the track “Necromantic Love Affair”. Almost immediately, the song title sounds like a bad Dungeons and Dragons campaign, instantly turning up the cheesiness level up a bit. The lyrics, which center around two Satanist lovers, don’t help much in securing the song any seriousness, but then again, they were never meant to. Everything is so tongue and cheek and over the top it’s hard to take any of it seriously, namely because none it is supposed to be taken seriously. This does not diminish the impact of the monster thrash riffs and NOLA-tinted sludge mid section, however, but rather adds to them, making everything seem so over the top that it almost appears larger than life.
Realistically, Collision will not be playing the next Pitchfork festival, nor will they be accepting their grammy nomination anytime soon, but it is doubtful that they care about any of that in the first place. Satanic Surgery is an album that clearly puts having fun making music at the forefront of its agenda and finds success in doing so. After all, it’s hard not to at least crack a smile while listening when those making the music so clearly are enjoying it. Satanic Surgery has not redefined metal or hardcore, but provides a healthy dose of both in the form of a rambunctious album that is a pleasure to listen to from beginning to end as it is just so wildly over the top that it’s hard not to enjoy.