WL//WH Review: The Amazingly Fearful New Album “The Colossalist” by VUKOVAR

WL//WH Album Review VUKOVAR

Vukovar, somewhere London 2020

Here we have one of the most amazing and fearful bad-ass releases of the year, here is the ‘The Colossalist’ new album by the British-sired music collective Vukovar, unleashed November 15 via Russian label Other Voices Records. The same band claims that Vukovar is all about – Ultra-Realism. Depravity. Monotony. Concrete. Hedonism. Silence. Vukovar are Idealists, Voyeurs, and Totalitarians -. I don’t know what they feel for themselves by using the word ‘Totalitarian’ but that’s not our issue right now…

Everything Vukovar is carefully placed behind a veil with hazes as all info about them is also displayed with mystery and through their own ‘dialect’. I copy from the press kit:

Following the death of one of Theirselves, various failures, and ever-deepening reliances, VUKOVAR have finally emerged once more. With the disintegration of the old group, a new, stable line up – the NeuPopAct – have collided and colluded to here present ‘THE COLOSSALIST’, their 8th LP and part one of the Eternity Ends Here triptych; the most ambitious thing attempted by the group and the most wrapped in turmoil. All songs were written and recorded by the 5/5 of Vukovar (except Hearing Voices written by Galaxie 500 and rewritten by Vukovar). Engineered and produced by The Brutalist House And The Ghosts In Their Machine. Mastered by Phil Reynolds. Hearing Voices features Simon Morris taken from various interviews and archive material.

‘The Colossalist’ LP happens to be an original-bizarre record, and so ‘bizarre’ as we use this word for anything impressive and impressively artistic too, out-of-the-box, surreal occasionally, and by all means for these striking records in all aspects. Ιt is an album with 11 new songs of magnetizing and outlandish, very weird and so stunning modern dark no-wave music. You could include anything inside no-wave but I’ll try to be more specific in all; That no-wave which drags inside darkwave, deathpop, churchcore, experimentalism, and woooohoooo all these trying to get a shape by a crazy genius post-punk ‘sculptor’. Yes, it is a collection of 11 sonic miracles and the first to appear was ‘Here Are Lions’ for which our sister in WL//WH, Catt Gillette confessed that it has “bright synth beams sweep relentlessly with urgent icy drama, sharpened by hissing off-kilter steady rhythms woven with a hypnotically obsessive tight bassline, over haunting emotional male vocals…”

Now tell me exactly what kind of music did you hear in it! And to make it all more interesting I’ll change the piste with another specimen from the album, ‘Vukovar (The Double Cross)’ saw the white light on October 22, listen closely to what’s going on in this peculiar track, is it a deathpop lullaby for any wicked babies?

Do not think that the whole album sounds all likewise but expect surprises in each track, in every corner, there are dangers and awe like i.e. the opening track ‘There Must Be More To Heaven Than This’, a bit of a torn apart garage punk state of the art track. ‘End Of Life Delirium’ with all drama and a cynically precise title, and with all their love toward phase-2 of Current 93. I was nailed by ‘A Danse Macabre’ with its haunted experimental parts, such great ‘devastation’ in this song, such a clear will by Vukovar to stagger the minimal form into the industrial origins. You’ll listen to more similar textures (with a nerve) also in ‘The Dark Backward And Abysm Of Time’.  Advanced and thrilling darkwave music in ‘Silent Envoy’, and a quite twisted sense of neo-folk on chains in ‘In A Year Of 13 Moons’. Mechanic and industrial impro in ‘I’m Becoming Yourself’ which is another amazing paradox as it is quite focused and a definite ‘narration’…strange things here as strange is the whole album too! Skip ‘Hearing Voices’, it has nothing to offer unless you are looking for the ultimate no-wave polluted butterfly, skip it if you are not interested in the art of blending and mixing genres, skip it and then you be crying my dears. The same goes for the extra songs of the album that can also be found as b-sides too; ‘The First Time, The Last Mass’ the art of creating in an original minimal approach (and I am not referring to the beloved minimal-synth-electro style, but the real minimalism as math in music), and ‘A Danse Macabre – The Dance Remains’ which is simply an adventure like an exercise in let’s call it new wave now? That song is an opus in only 3:48″, focus on what’s happening there, and if you want, try to also focus on what happened to the sound engineer who mixed it, yeah!

So, ‘The Colossalist’ LP is a black crude diamond on Vukovar‘s will. An amazing and outstanding work by all means. Here we go, listen close, listen loud!!!

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Written by Loud Cities’ Mike