CD Review

Collide – “Vortex”

By Marcus Pan

VortexNow I’d normally start a CD review by telling you a bit about the band, Collide, but if you’re even vaguely aware of industrial music (and I assume you would be if you’re reading Legends), then I’d assume you know of Collide already. However, you can read our latest interview[1] with them and check out the review of their previous, Some Kind of Strange[2], release. My personal favorite of theirs is Chasing the Ghost[3]. Vortex is actually a double CD release, with plenty of music for your money. Many of the tracks here on Vortex are remixes of past work given different names taken from the lyrics. Wing of Steel for example was originally Chasing the Ghost.

Vortex opens so off kilter-interesting that I can almost hear Winona Ryder breathe the words “I myself…am strange and unusual” as Euphoria slides in with deep bass and bubbling rhythms that grows into a crescendo of industrial guitars and guttural bass movements – a great way to kick off Vortex. Over the years Collide’s sound has grown in maturity and complexity, becoming bigger and better with each successive release.

Feed Me to the Lions is a swifter track with an almost funk-based rhythm and bass. KARin’s vocals are sultry and sexy with just a hint of metallic tinge. I’m digging the rhythm and blues element to Collide’s work these days in tracks like this and the following Slither Thing as well. Like You Want to Believe picks up the guitar riff level again, creating a heavy tune with a nice juxtaposition against KARin’s female diva-esque vocal work. I’m loving the wacky cheekiness of The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum, a new track here. It’s got that circa-60s B-movie soundtrack going for it. The 7+ minute Frozen closes Vortex with a trancyness.

There is a second CD to this release, Xetrov, and here we have more remixed goodness. Most notable on this CD it kicks off with a cover of Haunted When the Minutes Drag originally by Love & Rockets. Collide modernizes the song adding a more electronic base and giving it a swirly and ambient feel. It pushes the song to nearly 8 minutes in length, and I think that might be a little long.

Rhys Fulber of Conjure One[4] offers Tempted and you can definitely see the influence – it really sounds like a Conjure One release. Xetrov comes off much more ambient and trance-like than the heavier industrial style of Vortex. It, on the whole, has a more lacy feel to its sound, concentrating more on swirlyness and smoother backgrounds. Inside takes us into a bit more experimental vibes.

Overall the Vortex double CD set is a worthy buy. Moving from heavier industrial to more ambient and swirly strains, the takes on Collide’s music from a number of different folks is interesting and differing enough to merit its own release. If you’re looking for a laid back and smooth time, Xetrov will fit the bill here. For a bit heavier stompage, go with Vortex.

Contact Information:
Noiseplus Music
Post: PO Box 565, North Hollywood, CA 91603-0565, USA
Phone: (818) 506-1868
Fax: (818) 506-5127
E-Mail: xcollide@aol.com
Web: www.collide.net
[1] By Mike Ventarola in Legends #136.
[2] Reviewed in Legends #137.
[3] Reviewed in Legends #110.
[4] Conjure One’s self-titled release was reviewed in Legends #131.

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