Tellusian – Collision (Pillowscars)

Sunday, 23rd March 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Arising from the ashes of grindcore vets Crowpath, Henrik Ivarsson (vocals) and Erik Hall (drums) have gotten together with John Ronnerblad (guitars) and Robert Fuchs (bass) to form Tellusian.  After releasing a split and EP, Collision represents the full-length debut from these Swedes.  By no means is this Crowpath 2.0, but fans of the band will certainly enjoy what Tellusian is up to.

An apt title, Collision takes the progressive nature of bands like Between the Buried and Me, the spastic death metal of Gorguts, alongside slices of grind and rock, and violently smashes them together to create one moody beast.  Opener “Rivalry” kicks things immediately into high gear with some grinding drums but by the ending of the next track, “The Collyer Brothers” we’ve already trekked through some progressive riffing, some dabbling in sludge, and a brief digression into some ethereal and reflective moments.  Despite its potential to come across as an abomination of random influences and experimentation, Tellusian embraces its influences and combines them into a creation far greater than the sum of it’s parts.  In fact, it’s this continual unexpected nature that Collision diverges and returns to that turns it into a rewarding listening experience.

If there is one piece that glues the varied elements of Collision together, it’s the often-surprising amount of catchiness involved.  The most obvious examples are use of keys on “Idiotens Dilemma” and “Collision,” with the latter featuring some cello injected into the band’s formula as well.  But to leave it to the outside instruments would discredit the more straight-forward (well, in comparison to the rest of the album) riffs of “Wolf in Sheep’s Medicine,” the melodies featured towards the end of “Idiotens Dilemma,” or the playful guitar work of “Armour to Paper.”

Never feeling overwhelming, but technical enough to fill the needs of progressive fans as well as delivering the jackhammer strength required to earn the respect of the extreme music community, Tellusian is off to a promising start with Collision.

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