Kollwitz: Dissonance

Nordic punk metallers chart some highs but mostly lows

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“We’ve fought against this record for four years,” say Bodø, Norway-based sextet Kollwitz, “with insecurity, disagreement and inconsistent goals leading the process.”

On the strength, then, of Dissonance, the follow-up to their 2010 debut Like Iron I Rust, what these cryptic statements mean is that the band have dropped most of the theatrical and noodling post-rock/metal elements that stitched together Like Iron…’s rather generic moments of sludgy battery in favour of, well, nothing.

In aiming for a supposedly more focused assault, much of Dissonance feels made of up forgettable half-ideas that beg to have been expanded. The opening trio of Reign, Impending and Horizon, in particular, lurch along with brief dynamic shifts barely covering the tedious barrage of sludge that appears to have been created from recycled Knut and Intronaut riffs.

All is not entirely hopeless, however, and when the band break the four-minute mark – as during Vanish, or epic and atmospheric closer The Monarch Analyst – the results are infinitely more affecting./o:p