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Collide "Beneath the Skin"
[Rec-20]
$12.00
by Teri Davidson Date Added: Tuesday 24 February, 2009
On a first glance Collide might seem to some people as 'just another one of those Evanescence type bands'. It is true that both bands are fronted by expressive female singers with any other members being male but the similarities pretty much end there and this is never better demonstrated than with Collide's 1996 debut release, 'Beneath The Skin'. An album so intense and powerful that you would have to be quite brave to dismiss it with the aforementioned observation.

Album opener 'Violets Dance' with it's creeping, swirling intro and sporadic beats is a song that deserves to played at maximum volume and i, personally, would expect this particular song to be amazing live. It is followed by the pounding, atmospheric title track 'Beneath The Skin' and its joyfully claustrophobic sound and seductive vocals. Next is 'Falling Up', which begins with pounding drums and vocalist KaRIN's commanding singing before bringing you into a tumble of emotions and dirty guitars!

This is followed by the quite frankly, beautiful, 'Deep'. The albums stand-out track is another song which I can imagine being quite an experience to see live with its gentle, shimmering guitar parts and its warm, rich vocals. When the song ends you cannot help but continue to have it still playing in your head even though it is proceded by two of my personal favourites. 'Black' is a dark and almost painfully bleak song with a downright epic bridge that never fails to take me over on every listen. KaRIN's hypnotic and angelic voice has you really believing the depression portrayed before the next song creeps up out of nowhere, it feels. 'Strange' has an incredible fast groove to it with its pulsating guitars and spikey beats. It is the most 'dance' song here with a whirlwind of crazed synths.

Next up is the thumping and juddering 'Dreams and Illusions'. Sounding so gentle and pretty but frightened at the same time. There is a certain sadness in the synths that, along with the pure, glittery singing, that pushes the emotion here to breaking point. Listening to this song is quite an experience and again, its a song that you are still going through when the next one emerges. 'Have Faith' sneaks in with its increasingly severe synths. I find it to be quite a positive feeling song and much can be said for gentle, flickering funkiness and silvery vocals that come into play throughout it.

'Pandora's Box' is the song which comes after. So dark and eerie with a pushing, almost twisted sense of quiet terror and it is followed by album closer '95&5' which has a similar feel with its deathly emptiness and haunting vocals. Added on the end are two remixes which i have to admit are quite darn good. Until i was introduced to Collide I was never turned on much by different mixes of songs but because theirs were so good i now am more open to them. The Christ Analogue remix of 'Deep' is truly awesome with its flicky, juddering beats and statiky, quivering synthesisers and its a good contrast to the original without taking away its feeling. It is also completely different to the Subconcious Remix of 'Beneath The Skin' by Cevin Key which has a more club feel with its icy yet bubbly jumpiness.

Collide do not fit into any category or genre. They do take on board various different elements of certain types of music... dance, industrial, rock, pop, electronica and a whole lot more all while continuing to create in a world of their own. They are a genre all in themselves. Some songs are more danceable than others and some songs are happier than other ones but every track leaves you with overwhelming emotion before being taken on another journey with next one. Above everything, 'Beneath The Skin' makes you think. It makes you think about life, love, pain, beauty and everything else inbetween. Vocalist KaRIN sings every song as if she is living it right there and then. Her heartfelt singing and lyrics genuinely make you feel as if you are taking these journeys together.She has more in common with the likes of Kate Bush (if you have to make comparisons) than any young flavour of the week girl you might see on the cover of Kerrang! magazine. We must also not forget music maker Statik, her partner in Collide. He takes his talent and his influences and makes them into something much more special than you could ever imagine.

If you enjoy music that speaks to your heart, your mind and your soul then this is the album for you.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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