Review #3 for Two Headed Monster is in from vAlien/DJ Commando LABELLA. Val is from Belarus and was kind enough to translate it into English for us, as our Russian is a bit rusty.
With every new studio release American gothic-rock/industrial group COLLIDE with confidence and steadily come near to own album-masterpiece. New CD "Two Headed Monster" is not exception. In the present situation this is the most diverse, multi-layer, mature, hard and complex record of duet.
Alongside with well known and already trade mark dark and melodic, sexually swinging inspired trip-hop/gothic-rock/industrial compositions ("Pure Bliss", "Silently Creeping", "Two Headed Monster", "Shifting") for the first time we can find on album of band several tough, fast running and aggressive tracks, reminding on its sound traditional American industrial rock in the vein of NINE INCH NAILS and MINISTRY, but in this case they are based on not simple, beautifully bending and ornate melodies, which only COLLIDE write today on gothic-industrial scene. Besides, for the first time you will hear in band’s repertoire song, which is fabulous mixture of shoegazer, dream-rock and postrock.
Running a few steps forward I will say, that this is romantic aerial final track "Utopia" – listening to this song I feel every time like it gives me the shivers and like spring flowers start to blossom in soul. Cosmico-orgasmic track! I hope this is not the last song in baggage of COLLIDE which is down in such style.
But let’s return to the beginning. Additional guitarists, drummers and bass-players were participating in recording material for "Two Headed Monster" and this is immediately caused some interesting effects in sound of many songs on album. In the first place it concerns compositions "Tongue Tied & Twisted" and "Pure Bliss", where not very typical for COLLIDE roaring guitar power, heavy grooves and rush appeared (they are more typical for alternative American rock, grunge or nu metal). Songs "Chaotic" and "Spaces In Between" sound a little easier, but faster and also quit a noisy concerning saturation by various synthesizer and guitar parts. Last thing pretends, to my opinion, on the role of central club action, because contains explosive, almost punk-rock energy, heavy and impetuous breakbeat rhythmic outline and quit a dense industrial dance sound. It seems to me, that COLLIDE didn’t produce nothing similar in the past concerning speed. At the same time there are distinct pop-influences in such melodic and emotional womanly songs as "A Little Too Much" and "Head Spin" (I found arrangement of this playful and very sympathetic dance track concurrently original and even unexpected). Some of you again can draw parallel between COLLIDE and CURVE, GARBAGE or even latest successful hits of Kylie Minogue, but I wouldn’t do this today because kaRIN and Statik already exceed in many aspects both abovementioned groups, reaching very high level of musical performing and composing and during the years of existence fostering very own sound, which can be described as "style of COLLIDE".
Properly speaking, in all its glory and diversity this tasteful style is represented on new album. Old and new fans of band should only to make themselves comfortable in front of home stereo monitors and to get incomparable with nothing audiophile enjoyment. I will add that album "Two Headed Monster" is recorded excellently, sappy and deeply in contrast to new-fashioned studio experiments with “loud sound”. Also I will not forget to admit very stylish graphic design of booklet with sexual photos of charming gothic fashionable woman kaRIN. It is simply not impossible to not fall in love with her! Especially knowing that everything she does with her sensitive and bewitching cat/tigress-like voice on album already can’t be described with use of usual words and letters. Undoubtedly kaRIN also progresses with sound of COLLIDE, opening in yourself new vocal abilities, hues and emotional reserves. Paraphrasing words of A.P. Chehov, I can say that everything is perfect in kaRIN –appearance and soul and pure vocal… All in all I understand now that for Statik she is at the same time muse, friend and fetish object, maybe therefore he don’t and can’t lose inspiration and continues to write such a lovely music, dressing it in laces of cosmic and earthly electro-noise-industrial arrangements. Shatteringly beautiful album!
vAlien/DJ Commando LABELLA [Machinist]