Collapse Under The Empire & Mooncake

Black Moon Empire

Written by: DR on 13/10/2011 23:26:19

Split releases are an interesting proposition. Sometimes it can be that a 'bigger' band is lending their name to a 'smaller' band in order to generate some extra buzz about that band, sometimes it's two bands on a similar scale releasing something together to sell on their tour, and then, as is often the case in post-rock, two bands collaborate on a release.

From Germany we have Collapse Under The Empire and from Russia we have Mooncake, and a collaboration is what we have in "Black Moon Empire", and what we have in "Black Moon Empire" is post-rock executed by bands who know what they are doing. From what we know of Collapse Under The Empire they are a soaring God Is An Astronaut-esque band who deliver walls of epic, atmospheric guitar-sound. What I know of Mooncake is... nothing. So, on opening song "Black Moon Empire", which was created by both parties, what can we expect them to bring to the table? It would seem, as that song is a beautifully subdued exhibition of serene post-rock that draws intelligently from eletronica elements, that they have calmed CUTE down. Adding further credence to this argument is the following song, "Spark", which CUTE wrote on their own. It lacks that surging crescendo we'd expect and delves deeper into dirtier post-metal-esque music, but it's a world away from the opening they and Mooncake crafted with so much care and attention. The following songs, "Turquoise", "T.S.D.", and "Novorossiysk 1968" are performed by Mooncake, CUTE, Mooncake respectively. Mooncake's efforts are obviously influenced by post-rock legends. "Turquise" is a nod to Explosions in the Sky, but through the use of sweeping, classical elements like string arrangements and haunting vocals they leave a mark on the listener that is their own. As for "Novorossiysk 1968", well, it actually sounds an awful lot like CUTE did on "The Sirens Sound". Closing the album is the remaining CUTE song, "T.S.D.", which further hints that their upcoming album will be a textured post-metal powerhouse worth getting worked up over.

However, as capable as both bands are at what they're trying to achieve - and as much as they achieve it, the outcome isn't as rewarding as what they come up with when they work together. The track "Black Moon Empire" is the best song here. That's not a slight on either band because, in any other context, their efforts would be more highly praised. It's more a compliment of how well their individual styles compliment each other when put together. It really is a collaborative effort that can only be describe as stunning. If either band takes any note of what I say in this review, let it be this: you work too well together to only ever give us that one song; the world needs more Collapse Under The Empire & Mooncake creating together.

Download: Black Moon Empire
For The Fans of: Sleepmakeswaves, Blueneck, God Is An Astronaut, This Will Destroy You
Listen: Stream it here

Release Date 31.07.2011
Oxide Tones

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