Collapse Under The Empire

Finaltune, 2023

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


This is the record from Collapse Under The Empire that I’ve been waiting for.

This, needless to say, causes problems. Longtime DV Faithful will know I gave an A to their earlier CD, Fragments Of A Prayer.

So what do I do with Recurring, which is head and shoulders above Fragments? Do I give it an A+? Do I retroactively lower the grade I gave Fragmentsmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 ? Do we switch alphabets entirely and do I rate this CD Aleph? Alpha? Whatever Klingons use for “A”? (I checked. I cannot insert a Klingon character into this document, though I tried. The character mapping program in Windows looked at me as if I was, well, Klingon.) [Editor’s Note: To further complicate Duke’s dilemma, the Vault does not give A+ ratings…]

I don’t have any answers yet. But I do know that Recurring is my early pick for album of the year.

There has been religious content in the works of Collapse Under the Empire before—ranging from the aforementioned Prayer to the apocalyptic “180 Seconds” from their album The End Of Something. But Recurring trumps that and then redoubles it; this is an entire album seemingly about religious concepts. From the opening “Genesis” to the two amazing tracks “Apocalypse” and “Creation,” it flows in the same demanding way that Fragments did. This is music that makes you pay attention; if you were to put this on in the background, I guarantee it will pull you in actively. (I know from experience.)

There isn’t a bad track on this CD; if anything, there are just great and slightly less great works on it. Highlights, however, must be chosen: “Mercy” with its insistent guitar, the soaring strings of “Absolution,” the throbbing beat of “Forgiveness,” and finally the delicate coda of “Creation.” While figuring out what CUTE’s two musicians, Martin Grimm and Chris Burda, really mean may be a fool’s errand—there are 22 words in their liner notes—it’s a fulfilling and, yes, spiritually renewing attempt to try.

Do not miss Recurring. Easily the best post-rock CD I’ve heard in my fledgling exploration of the genre, it is a masterpiece.

Rating: A

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