Morbidly Beautiful

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An aggressively-paced sonic sequel, Recoilprodukt’s “Collapse” ups the ante while diving deeper into the three-album apocalyptic narrative.

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Collapse EP Review

It feels like almost no time at all has passed since Recoilprodukt dropped the first EP in their three-part exploration of catastrophe & rebirth, and yet here we are, with another release. Much like with part one, Morbidly Beautiful had the privilege to receive the advance screening of Collapse, the full-throttle, wholly aggressive sequel to Catalyst.

As mentioned in our previous review, Recoilprodukt, a dark electronic record label, has been in the biz since 1984, unassumingly releasing bespoke EBM and industrial music for discerning audiophiles. For reference, Depeche Mode’s breakthrough album, Some Great Reward, also came out that same year, right when electronic music began gaining a foothold.

Whereas Catalyst was akin to a book’s prologue, gradually easing us into this post-apocalyptic nightmare, Collapse is what happens when the protective gear is removed — no safe word, no security railing, no more hand-holding — just aggressive sample-laden industrial music that doesn’t give a damn if you’re in danger.

It also must be stated that, like Catalyst before it, Collapse is more than just music.

It also continues the narrative introduced in Catalyst, delving further into the great calamity that befell mankind. The EP gives us four tracks: two versions of the title track (Raw Mix & Ablative Mix), as well as B-sides Moloch and Second Impact.

Both versions of Collapse have something to offer, but I feel that the Ablative Mix is the standout.

Propulsive, noisy without being noise, carried along by an unrelenting beat, it is a stomping beast of a song. Nothing is lost in the mix, including the narrative elements that continue the overarching story. In fact, the turnabout from the previous interview found in Catalyst, where it’s the scientists who are now the ones suffering, makes me smile from ear to ear.

With a bassline that resembles Front Line Assembly just beneath the surface, the Ablative Mix transports us back to the early 1980s, when Skinny Puppy, Front 242, and other industrial artists were making similar recordings.

That’s not to say that the Raw Mix isn’t worth mentioning. More sinister in nature than the Ablative Mix, it is a percussive-centric track, the drums akin to an ancient machine that refuses to be silenced. It is also, IMO, the track that bears the most similarities to Catalyst. They could be played back-to-back without feeling disjointed.

In fact, I hope that, at the culmination of this three-part series, Recoilprodukt offers up a track that seamlessly connects all of the narratives into one longer recording, telling the story from start to finish.

But, where this EP truly shines is with the B-sides.