Great Collapse - Holy War (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Great Collapse

Holy War (2015)

End Hits

Great Collapse have all the ingredients for fans waiting for the next big thing in punk. Vocals by Thomas Barnett (Strike Anywhere) backed by guitarist Chris Chasse (Rise Against), bassist Joe Saucedo (Set Your Goals) and drummer Kyle Profeta (Comeback Kid). Their Elemental EP was a solid debut and offered insight at big things to come, especially as a substitute for those of us clamoring more Strike Anywhere. As impressive as Holy War is however, it just wanders off the path, drifting into more melodic/pop punk territory as opposed to what I expected, which was more hardcore/skate punk. That said, it's definitely still worth a pickup. 

Tracks like "New Abolition" and "Break In Case of Emergency" signal this off the bat -- a less aggressive album than what the preceding EP teased. As usual, it's laced with political messages from the state of global war, economies, slavery, human trafficking, policing and the whole nine. You can't deny how powerful the lyricism is behind anything Barnett does, especially on a record where he's surprisingly cleaner and showing much more vocal prowess. His voice is definitely the strength and driving force behind the punk riffs and frenetic kit work. But still, things are tapered down way too much. Another case is made on "The World Between" which ends up being very mid-tempo and catchy but still feels short-sold. "Beyond Authority" also follows in the same vein a la Motion City Soundtrack and you're left wanting the too-clean production to get a bit grimier. It doesn't happen.

"Specific Gravity" and "The Ones Who Last" flick this switch a bit and move into a higher gear in the back-end of the album, leaving you wondering why these kinds of songs weren't more prominent. However, it's tough to fight down what Great Collapse accomplish overall. Maybe I'm too one-dimensional here and can't cut the Strike Anywhere cord. Maybe I didn't think they'd stray from Elemental. But as anthemic and melodic as these tempered down songs are, they're still punk rock done right. Slower than I anticipated but still, they work. Holy War, no matter what you came for, leaves a mark as a solid punk album. Could have been more though. Much more...