Collision – The Final Kill Review

Normally we don’t review “mini-albums” here, but Collision’s The Final Kill thankfully slipped past the watchful eyes of the promo bin cadaver hounds – I suppose they were kept busy. The reason I decided to run headlong into this is because this is the Dutch band’s final release. I reviewed their oddly named Satanic Surgery a few years ago and didn’t give it a great score – or, honestly, even an okay one. Since we’re all stuck inside anyway, I figured why not shack up with The Final Kill, see the end of a movie that I started watching more than three-quarters through yet somehow found myself invested in. Anyone who had cable and caught movies near their tail end can relate to this. For those who didn’t, this was in the Dark Ages before Netflix and the thousand other streaming platforms happened. Anyway, I’m going to ride out Collision until the credits roll and you’re all going along for the ride with me.

Since Satanic Slavery, nothing has changed stylistically. Collision play fast punk with a metal edge in the vein of cheap beer and shark fiends Wehrmacht, clearly love their D.R.I., and the punkier moments of Nausea. They incorporate old-school grind into the proceedings as well, but the music here is less frenetic than on From Enslavement to Obliteration. Short, sharp shocks are the name of the game, and while it’s not as sonically extreme as Extreme Noise Terror’s deadliest offerings (including the massively underrated Being and Nothing), this type of stuff would land Collision on a bill with E.N.T. rather easily, and the crowd would definitely enjoy the Dutch speedsters ripping it up, moshing until some teeth littered the floor.

I enjoy The Final Kill a good deal more than Satanic Surgery. It’s got better riffs and has more energy, two things this type of music desperately needs. Perhaps the looming end has something to do with this, but “Engine of Extermination” makes me want to hear more Collision – which is ideal for a goodbye. Beginning on a chunky riff and then speeding up in the vein of “Scum” and “Dead Shall Rise” (you really ought to know these songs if you like metal), it launches into the requisite speed and smartly recalls the beginning chugging in the chorus, albeit twice as fast. There’s a slight Slayer influence in “Shell Shock Suicide,” and one of its riffs sounds like an inverted Hanneman punk original on Undisputed Attitude: a hardcore band doing enthusiastic Slayer-styled music, at least in part. There’s an amusing tinge of speed metal in “Sadistic Executioner” which closes Collision’s final studio setlist. It’s a lot of fun, and veers into something approaching Blood Tsunami’s Grave Condition in a good way in both riffing and vocals. Bonus points to “Sweet Vermin” for being what I was hoping to hear from Iron Reagan when they started: speed, energy, and big fun riffs.

There isn’t much to complain about here, as Collision puts some good stuff forward for their swansong. The repeated beginning riff in “Shattered Glass and Severed Heads” sounds dangerously close to being in a major key and comes narrowly close to clashing with the aggressive metallic hardcore that comprises the song otherwise. There are some exercises in genre aesthetics like “Frozen in Terror” and “Intense Infestation” but these are decent if not workmanlike tunes nonetheless. The main issue here, as on Satanic Slavery, is real memorability. It’s hard not to hear a charming middle-tier band throughout this record giving it their all – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, this does mean that I cannot in all honestly call The Final Kill a great mini-album. Good, however, will suffice.

The Final Kill sounds great with a big bass presence which gives a hefty backbone to both faster and slower moments and a clear but still streetwise production aesthetic. For those hardcore fans of crossover (no, I’m not sorry) there’s a lot to sink your teeth into, though it might be a bit meaty for the vegan types which often populate that scene (again, not sorry). Like a great number of the records we review here and that you probably listen to, The Final Kill is fun and satisfying while it’s playing but doesn’t leave a huge lasting impression outside of a few scattered moments. Not every band is a top-tier band – which is fine – and Collision went out on a strong middle-tier note with The Final Kill. Thanks for the raging tunes, gentlemen.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Hammerheart Records
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: April 17th, 2020

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