Big release day for Collapse Under The Empire: with Recurring, they don’t just publish their tenth studio album overall, the German duo also announced an 11 LP box named Works 08-23. This already suggests that the band is looking back to a fifteen year old band history. Here by album review of Recurring, which has been published on 29th September 2023.
Collapse Under The Empire – About The Artists
Collapse Under The Empire are an instrumental post rock band. They are already active since 2008 and consist of two members, Martin Grimm (guitar, bass) and Chris Burda (keyboard, drums). They are both from Hamburg, Germany, where the band has also been founded. However, they nowadays have rather global success, their music is also used for advertisements and similar reasons. So far, the band has released a total of nine albums and four EPs.
Collapse Under The Empire – Recurring – Track by Track
The nine track album lasts 51 minutes.
There are just nine songs on the album, most have rather a rather epic duration though. The 6:13 minute opener is thereby rather average. The song has a rather hymnic structure and walks through different themes. Thus (like many other tracks on the album), the songs are very theatric and dramatic and feel to tell about stories and journeys. Genesis in special has a strong presence of keyboard and synth elements. Especially in the beginning of the song, the guitar feel like strings. Cool, intense listen.
Recurring has lead to two single releases so far. One of them is Revelation, which starts in a sub-sea alike atmosphere, from where it more and more defines a dramatic character. Especially the middle part of the song adds some nice touch, when it works with rather quiet and melodic elements.
The first part of Mercy is driven by the keyboard, which is coming back again and again with the key theme. Here and there, guitars are breaking into the atmosphere. The strong usage of reverb and echoes leads to a very intense listen.
The sound of absolution feels to head a bit more into the synth pop direction. Again, the keyboard feels trying to fight for its main theme, even if other instruments here and there supersedes its sound. Towards the end, Absolution fades out in a coda.
While most of the songs vary with various themes and kinds of atmosphere, Requiem is a rather stable listen. The sound is fairy-like and a bit of threatening as well. One factor is definitely also the rather short duration – with 3:35 minutes, the fifth song is the briefest one on the album.
Forgiveness is the second song the duo shared with their listeners already. Overall, the drumming is comparably present in this listen, which leads to a rather marching and running touch of the song. There is, however, a rather slow and fragile bridge part in the middle as well.
The rather simple keyboard main theme, which is very present in Salvation, reminds me of 1980’s music. However, Burda and Grimm create a much more complex sound experience, which also prevents the sound of the sound feeling too “cheap”. Overall, I really enjoy the plot of this song, which turns into one of my favorites.
The last two songs of the album are about seven minutes long – each. Apocalypse starts a bit of slow – there is finally plenty of time to create a dramatic and intense atmosphere. However, the song is slowly developing and becomes more and more intense towards its climax. Really apocalypse-alike. The last minute is a majestic fade-out.
Creation plays a bit more with different themes again, even though overall, the song is rather straight. Very nice melodic work, the song is not that dramatic in its plot as other songs on the album, though.
Collapse Under The Empire – Recurring – Spotify
Here is Recurring on Spotify:
Collapse Under The Empire – Recurring – My View
I simply love that kind of music. It somehow shows me how vocal-driven we are often in music and how unnecessary that finally is. Recurring is telling beautiful stories. Maybe it is telling other stories to me than the writers intended to share – but ain’t that magical as well? Collapse Under The Empire recorded nine different, fascinating journeys and thus defined their world with the power of music. Excellent quality – I love it!
Favorite Song: Salvation
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