Monday 7 April 2014

Vinyl Corner : Tellusion - Collison (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 18/3/2014
Label : Pillowscars

Collision, album track listing :

1). Rivlary
2). The Collyer Brothers
3). The Saw Collector
4). In the Wake of Circuses and Parades
5). Wold In Sheep’s Medicine
6). Idiotens Dilemma
7). Bastard Street
8). Armour To Paper
9). Terminal
10). Collision

Bio :

Tellusian came together in 2010 in the city of Malmö, Sweden. John Rönnerblad (Guitars) and Erik Hall (Drums) had been jamming around for a while, and after the demise of Crowpath the ideas of turning Tellusian into a proper "active" band started to grow. Robert Fuchs was added on bass and Henrik Ivarsson stepped in on vocals. A few demos was recorded and a split 7" with Chicagos The Swan King was released through Hell Comes Home in 2012 followed by the Scania 7" in 2013. Here we are in 2014 and the fist fullenght, Collision, is upon us.

The Band :

Henrik Ivarsson | Vocals
John Rönnerblad| Guitar
Robert Fuchs | Bass
Erik Hall | Drums

Review :

Having recently reviewed Tellusion’s excellent 7” entitled Scania, Pillowscars Label have launched their blistering debut full length on vinyl.  I have been lucky enough to review this record for your attention today, and what you get for your buck is a First edition of 320 copies on black vinyl. Indeed if you order with the Scania 7", not only do you save a euro, but the record comes with an accompanying CD in a plain paper sleeve.  This is Pillowscars no. 006.  So let’s get onto the music 

Forged from 50% of the blisteringly dynamic band Crowpath, Erik Hall (Drums) and Henrik Ivarrson (Vocals) return with the equally brilliant band, Tellusian.  I am uncertain if their name is derived from the latin word Tellus, meaning a citizen of Athens, said to be the happiest of men or as an alternative name for Earth.  Guys, help me out here?? What I am certain about, is that there is nothing conventional about Tellusian, they have thrown out the rulebook and created their own standards with this record, and judging by Collision their specialisation pertains to the skill of technical flair and dexterity.

Collision is non conformist. At conflict with generally accepted music algorithms, each independent part (band member), given their symbiotic relationship is necessary to produce this maddening music and yet the equilibrium of the record is tested throughout.  This is a bombastic and divergent record but the band ultimately behave as a single organism to create a truly crushing and ultimately fresh musical experience.  John Rönnerblad’s chops are slick and technically brilliant; indeed he is a six string acrobatic, playing stunt guitar.  Kicking things off with ‘Rivalry’, this band crush from the outset, the chugging refrain of the riffs, are spliced with alternative picking, descending and ascending progressions, using every expanse of the fret board, drums blasting like a flair in your face, shit you even get slapped bass work ala Primus. The dynamics of the band are unparalleled and vocally this is brutal stuff too, with Henrik Ivarsson’s throat ripping delivery perfectly juxtaposed against the progressive brutality of the music. This is intelligent and ambitious stuff indeed. 

‘The Collyer Brothers’ does not so much start, but bludgeon, it is a far more mathy approach with a staccato, almost stop start feel, swaying this way and that. Sea sick from the unique motion of the record.  Now where is that bucket? What is striking about the band is the ability of the bassist too, with every twist and turn of pace, Robert Fuchs is equal to it and his tone is superb.  It feels like the record was recorded live and despite the technical flair, there is a loose flow to the record, like the band is jamming out this divergent monolith.   Yes it is complex, but it has an infusion of jazz and funk too.  Making the record well rounded and very balanced, despite the chaotic vibe. 
 ‘The Saw Collector’ starts with a rapid drum fill, keeping things simple with the guitars, with what seems like a sliding note phrasing and this is used throughout the track.  They bring things up a notch with twin guitars adding much needed crunch.  Strikingly, blast beats are used throughout the track, and it is not long before the chugging riffs are back, bringing extra ‘weight’ to proceedings.  It is not as chaotically bombastic as the tracks before, yet it is still gonzo Hunter S Thompson shit.  ‘In The Wake of Circuses and Parades’, reminds me very much of the same phrasing as ‘Rivalry’, the ascending /descending progressions are there and will make even the most hardened shredders salivate.   The opening is frenetic; it is down toned low end with much more calculus style alternative picking on offer too. 

Rarely has there been a record where, words fail me and I have only given you a taste of what is in store for you on this record, yet the more intricate things get, the more I struggle to summarise how brilliant it is.  What is apparent however is the application of the compositions are seamless. Tellusian flex their angular muscles throughout this record.   Tellusian is a monstrous musical beast, formed from many different elements, yet it is seams structured, albeit in a weird tangential manner.   For me, this record is one of the best I have heard this year.  If you want to something fresh, innovative and jaw dropping,  that incorporates elements of progressive, death, grindcore and sludge metal, then look no further that this monster.  Put simply, comply or die!!

Words by :  Aaron Pickford

You can get it here

Album Details :

Collision was recorded by John Rönnerblad at Studio Tellus/Monoklang on and off during 2013
Mixed by John Rönnerblad and Stacy Parrish
Mastered by Stacy Parrish

Additional cello on "Collision", synthesizers on "Idiotens dillema" and "Collision" by Robert Fuchs
Original artwork by Daniel Karlsson
Layout by Branko Vranic
All songs/lyrics by Tellusian except the lyrics for "Rivalry", "The Collyer Brothers" and "Wolf in Sheep's Medicine", written by Andreas Karlsson

For more information :