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REVIEW - Collapse The Sky - 'White Flags' (Album)

The fine city of Norwich is currently home to a thriving metal scene, with plenty of shows taking place at the 'citadel' of 'The Brickmakers' / 'B2 Venue', many put on by the tireless AlienNation and POWer promotions people, and with bands such as ColdHarbour, Apollo Stands and Escaping Today tearing up the place. Collapse The Sky are another fine Norwich outfit, active since 2016, and 'White Flags' is their third album - following on from their 2016's 'Se7en Eyes' and 2018's 'Consumed' efforts - and is another slab of brutal and uncompromising metalcore. All the characteristics that you'd want from an extreme metal album are here - Lee Margaillan's gutteral, powerful vocals, the rumbling bass of Karl Morse keeping everything grounded, the blistering and ferocious riffing guitars of Flynn Green and David Lawrence, and the quite frankly, amazing and awesome drumming of Luke Fowler driving everything forward with astonishing precision and power in his double-bass drum assault - and this release has eleven tracks of relentless, unsparing metal that fans of the band will lap up.

For those of us who may shy away slightly from the various forms of extreme metal (and I include myself amongst them), this is still, however, an invigorating listen. The album is expertly produced by Flynn Green and each of the eleven tracks is finely crafted with twists and turns in the music and unexpected motifs cropping up. 'Dream Catcher' is an expansive aural delight with its soaring, epic feel, orchestral synths hovering in the background and tempo changes galore, 'Survive' punctuates its almost punky thrash with clean, double-tracked guitars, 'After Effect' possesses menacing, 'horror-flick' type verses and 'Breathe' has a groove that almost tips over into a rap feel in places. True, there's not much in the way of quieter interludes but this is not an album that warrants such things and the overall feel of the album is one of a band who are not afraid to mix elements ranging from ethereal, orchestral sounds to all-out bruising metal in their music.

'White Flags' is an album that contains enough interesting touches to transcend the metalcore tag and hook in metal fans who might not normally try extreme metal, while of course being a must for the existing fans of those genres. It is a powerful, relentless record full of expertly played music and from the orchestral beginning of opening track 'Foundations' to the final surge of closer 'Let It In' is an album that should hold your attention and have your head banging for all of its forty or so minutes.

'White Flags' is available now from all the major digital platforms and streaming sites and the Collapse The Sky Bandcamp page -

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