Collision - Satanic SurgerySometimes I feel like a wine critic. Not because I spit booze into a bucket like a drunken ibex and pretend it’s a real job when I write about it, but because I’m describing what I hear and then telling you good folks about how my “palate” reacts to it. Although it would be substantially easier to just sniff, taste or write “a bold 90s flavour, Good/5.0” and call it a day, this metal gig actually lets me reference hamburgers, beer, and philosophy at a frankly ludicrous frequency so I can confidently say I made the right choice. With that in mind I’ve taken many sips from the boxed Merlot of Dutch thrashcore merchants Collision’s fifth full-length Satanic Surgery, and much like a baffled wine critic (Diabolus in Vino?) I had one Hell of a time figuring out why it tasted funny.

Thrashcore is a scintillating combination of the base genres of grindcore, hardcore, and thrash. Immediately noticeable in Collision is the aroma of Wehrmacht and D.R.I. both pre- and post-Crossover. Also detectable in the flavour is Slayer’s punk-thrash of Undisputed Attitude (vintage 1996), which adds a whiff of metallic heft [And Jägermeister.Steel Druhm]. Nuances of pizza via Municipal Waste strike the palate as well, as does a paradoxically refreshing flavor of cheap beer mixed with a hint of Repulsion. The recommended serving temperature is loud. Satanic Surgery (vintage 2016) aims to transmit the quality of fun into its final product.

And what fun “Piece of Shit from the Tar Pit” is. Boasting the catchiest refrain on Satanic Surgery by a mile, it brings the punk-thrash together with some riffs reminiscent of D.R.I.’s heavier stuff on Crossover. “Blood Soaked Graveyard” effectively brings a bit of less punky Slayer to the party in some of its riffs. Interestingly, it’s the one song where the lyrics adopt Slayer’s atrocity reporting style, and that it throws in some chugging that Kerry King probably would’ve considered for Divine Intervention makes an odd sort of sense and works in the band’s favour. There’s a weird yet appealing groove in “Necromantic Love Affair” that reminds me of Agorapocalypse, and it becomes one of the finest cuts here because of that. Also commendable is Collision’s refusal to hit the three minute mark on a single song in an effort to not overstay their welcome.

Collision 2016

Satanic Surgery doesn’t last long but it doesn’t succeed in the memorability department, so the twenty-six minutes here go by far slower than they should. A lot of the riffs sound like thrashcore, but don’t have the genre’s trademark intensity. “Touch Me Jesus” is one of the many examples of this, and it left me completely bored with its fast yet wholly unremarkable material. The title track has a good drum performance, but the riffing can’t decide whether it wants to be heavy or punkish so takes the third way, failing at both. There’s a weird malaise about this whole enterprise, and I can only think that it’s due to the lyrical focus. That’s a weird claim, so let me explain. Wehrmacht had songs about getting drunk on cheap beer and fun teenager stuff like that. Many other hard/thrash/grindcore bands channeled their youthful energy to reactionary politics or just went all-in on the straight edge thing. Collision doesn’t really write about anything beyond the banal: their brand of tryhard and ultimately inoffensive anti-Christian stuff became passé everywhere except Poland after the second Deicide record, and none of their assaults on good taste are in the same ballpark as Seth Putnam in humour or provocative genius. This lack of purpose and drive seems to have translated over to the riffs and songs in general. If I were to try to pick out further song-specific specific flaws, I’d have to go back through Satanic Surgery and arbitrarily point them out in the most banal and ad hoc way possible. There’s just not a lot worth writing home about with either praise or derision.

When a record is outright terrible, writing about it is simple because it’s damning flaws are obvious. I cannot in good faith call Satanic Surgery terrible. Collision even picked a production job that makes the whole shebang sound professional, clear, not at all over-produced, and even gives the bass a whole lotta love in the mix. Maybe I’m missing something, but this just sounds like a competent but unexciting representation of the older stuff; if Plato were alive today, his disdain for representational artists could be directed at this record. When he was very busy with gleefully misreading Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that existence precedes essence, and such is the case here. Satanic Surgery certainly exists as thrashcore, but lacks its essence: that energetic, youthful, and exciting spark along with catchy tunes to house it. Sartre apologists will be pleased, but I’m not.


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Hammerheart Records
Websites: collision.bandcamp.com | collisiongrind.nl | facebook.com/collision
Releases Worldwide: February 19th, 2016

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  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    February has been pretty meh for metal so far. Just Fleshgod and Pogavranjen catching my interest.

    Looking forward to Oranssi Pazuzu though.

    • It looks like Obscura reached the limit of awesomness with “Akroasis” and there’s nothing left for other bands ;)

      • kmal666

        Agreed. Soon as I heard Akroasis, I knew it was over. 2016 AOTY had been released.

        • Strong words. I hope Ihsahn and Vektor will make worty competition. And damn, Gorguts is going to release an album containing ONE long track! This couldn’t be bad.
          Going back to the topic:
          “their brand of tryhard and ultimately inoffensive anti-Christian stuff became passé everywhere except Poland”. Diabolus, you refer to Behemoth’s adventures, or recent controversy around some theater plays? Nice review overall. I like all the culinary comparisons. One more thing – wine (whisky, beer, etc.) critic IS a real job. A dream job, if you ask me:)

          …And these guys from Collision should start from getting some decent logo.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Thanks! I’d be a whiskey critic if they let me, no questions asked. And yeah, Behemoth was the main reference point, absolutely. Poland has this old blasphemy law that I don’t think is enforced very often, which was why the Behemoth thing was a newsworthy item even in Canada. What’s this about the plays? Never heard anything about that one, but it sounds interesting.

          • Not so interesting really. A group of hardcore catholics (including new Minister of Culture) protested against a PREMIERE (so nobody saw the play yet) in Polski Theatre in Wrocław, just because some porn actors were in the cast. Embarassing case, but broadly commented in media.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Wow, that is rather lame. The most irritating thing nowadays is people running to either a court of law or the court of public opinion to try and shut down things they don’t like that may or may not be made or have something to do with people whose views/choices they disagree with. Really grinds my gears.

        • It is an awesome record.

  • METAL OTTER

    Oh! An existentialist review of Sartre-anic Surgery, lovely.

  • Bas

    I don’t care much about the music (based on the sample.. not that I am against any mimetic behaviour in bands), but I loved the review. The comparison with wine tasting is not just funny, but the problems in rating wine are the same as for metal or music in general. Its is even worse there. Somehow people think there is a objective standard for scoring wines. There many people are obsessed by rating systems. Its crazy…
    PS is Sartre only a nice example of misreading to you or do you have a genuine interest in his work? (just curious)

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Thank you! And I have an interest in Sartre by virtue of having an interest in Heidegger basically, and am familiar with the well-known stuff. I’m not a huge fan of his work though, because I don’t much care for existentialism generally.

      • Bas

        The same here. Looking forward to a review written in heideggerian ;-)

  • Boter

    And yet another 1.5 for the Low Countries (including Belgium). That makes four 1.5s, if I’m not mistaken, and the year is only a couple of weeks old. Frankly, this makes me rather sad. Will Textures be up for review?

  • Oscar Albretsen

    “Piece of Shit From the Tar Pit?” They actually named their song that? Seriously?

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      That they did.

    • At least they are honest about their songwriting skills.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        True…

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    Great find, this is amazing! River City Ransom ruled too, and Being and Time is definitely a tough nut to crack. Heidegger’s true masterpiece, I think, was Origin of the Work of Art though. That’s the crown jewel of post-WWI/Linguistic Turn philosophy IMO. I’ll never stop being grateful that both in reviews and in various comments threads I get to discuss two of my favourite things with some good folks.

    • Col_Dax

      I myself still have to make full contact with Heidegger by studying Being and Time. Until now, my only contact with his take on Ontology has been through philosophers, which were influenced by him in some aspects of their own philosophy (i. e. Herbert Marcuse) and / or criticized certain of his positions (Hannah Arendt, Pierre Bourdieu).
      But the more enjoyable and informative reviews and discussions I have to read on this very site, the farer away lies this point “somewehre in time”, to come back on metal topics again…

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        You have my deepest sympathy for being forced to tolerate Marcuse’s ramblings. If you do get a chance to read Being and Time, Joan Stambaugh’s translation is probably the best one.

        • Col_Dax

          I “met” HM only when preparing a lecture about the Frankfurt School 25 years ago. Despite being quite keen at this time on the critical theory and the dialectic as a method thereof, I preferred Horkheimer and Adorno (umm, a Heidegger critic as well, if I recall correctly)…
          I think, HM has gone astray trying to do a synthesis of Marx early philosophical works with Heideggers existential analytic to re-philosophize the then actual Marxism. Pehaps his later invectives against Heidegger regarding his role during the Nazi period were fueled by this miscarry.
          As for your recommendation of Joan Stambaugh’s translation: please allow me to read Being and Time in my native language, German, to enhance my chances of catching it’s spirit. ;-)
          Yet, thank you!

  • groverXIII

    I actually rather enjoyed this album. I don’t expect a lot out of most of my grindcore, and this is fast-paced and entertaining. I’d put it around a 3, maybe a 3.5 depending on how much I keep listening to it.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    “Back in the day” Thrashcore was called crossover…

  • Martin Knap

    haha, I’ve ordered a split form them with a band one of my buddies is in (Mincing Fury), hope it doesn’t blow…