Shit man, I gotta tell you, if I was born and raised in a small town north of the Arctic Circle, I can guarantee that any art I created would definitely be some of the most despondent and angry material mankind could ever hope to wrap their senses around. Winter sucks. I hate it more than all the things I hate combined and I've shocked myself that I haven’t gone on an automatic weapon-aided killing spree at some point during the last six weeks of crazy snow storms and stupidly frigid temperatures. When you're flicking on the Weather Network and finding yourself pleased on those days it’s only going to be -10 you know something just ain't right. Kollwitz hail from the Norwegian port town of Bodø and if extreme conditions demand extreme responses, as a quartet of great men once said, then their extreme response is Dissonance.
The band's first album, Like Iron I Rust was like a lucid and animated juggle of post-metal, sludge, doom and coruscating noisy hardcore – like if Burst, ISIS, Godflesh and Knut birthed a five-headed, humanity-hating, love child with barbed wire for legs and bile-spewing cannons for arms. Their sophomore album comes after a five-year disappearance that their handlers thinly veil as contentious and cantankerous, hinting that anyone who gave a shit about the band previously should be counting their prayers to purgatory they’re still around to terrorize eardrums and sensibilities.
Dissonance slides into the second – did you see what I did there? Just in time for the beginning of spring training and warmer weather – on more of a noise rock tip. Plenty of post-rock dynamism and grating angularity remains, and there’s even a bit of tolerable alt-rock influence, but the directive appears to be to punish hard and do it harder with the soaring riff, pounding tom smacks and impassioned bellow that launches the album on “Reign.” “Vanish” is delicate in comparison, with its nod to ISIS’ In the Absence of Truth. Their reliance on scarring atonality and harshness sometimes puts a damper on phrasing and a huge helping of the hope that listeners might recollect the battering delivered in “Horizon."
There definitely won’t be much humming along happening and if you’re not in the mood to be pummelled into bits, then a track like “Diminish” might seem more of an overbearing beat down than you’ve bargained for. “Impending” and the album’s pièce de résistance, the epic, melodic crawl of “The Monarch Analyst” is the sort of ballistic metallic thunder that works best with video projections, back lighting and cascading walls of nipple-length hair (facial and cranial!) – none of which Kollwitz actually employs. They just sound like a tectonic collective throwing lightning bolts and farting thunder claps at whatever one would aim lightning bolts and thunder claps at. All told, they actually look like five respectable and clean-cut lads, though as anyone living in direct proximity to a violent crime will tell local news reporters, it’s always the quiet unassuming ones who end up pulling off the most nefarious shit.