Album: Trusting The Illusion
Release Date: 28th February, 2018
Label: No Dust Records
Review by Sean
Collibus are a band that have been around for a good while, but have focused more on playing live than on releases. This year, however, they’ve unleashed their second full album upon the world, and my word is it special.
Imagine if Alter Bridge had gotten together with Devin Townsend and decided to make an album together, and decided to not let Myles sing, but instead put the responsibilities on one of the most powerful and versatile voices in the British underground scene today. This is the level of special we’re talking about.
But let’s stop ballsing about and get down to the review proper, shall we?
The album starts off very aggressively, album opener ‘What We’ve All Become’ kicking us off as we mean to go on, with opening lines “What are you waiting for? What are you waiting for? Let’s not pretend, you give a fuck!”, and it is an amazing example of just how to open an album and draw people in. If you’re not headbanging to this, then you’re listening to the wrong music.
The track flows seamlessly into one of my favourites on the album, and one that has been out as a single for while now, it’s ‘The Last Time’. It’s at this point, while listening to the lyrics, you get the sense that it’s an album full of vengeance and hurt. Indeed, that does come across, but it’s more about cleansing, saying goodbye to the shit you’ve had in life up to now, and aren’t putting up with any more. No more so than here. Just give this one a listen, if you haven’t already, you’ll get what I mean. Musically, this song is a great blend of heavy and melodic, if not favouring the melodic a bit more. the twin harmony just after halfway through is soul melting, and the solo is just as great. Truly it’s a song everyone needs to hear.
From there we get ‘Fear of the Fall’, which is a favourite track of a fair few people I know, and it’s easy to hear why, even if it’s not one of my top three on here, but more on them later. This one has a rip-roaring start that doesn’t mess around, and the track stomps on through, right to the pre-chorus and chorus, which slows things down just long enough to let you catch your breath before kicking things back into gear again. IT’s a perfect song to show people to introduce them to the band, as it’s exactly what Collibus do best. Heavy, melodic, epic sounding in a short burst.
‘Better Off Alone’ is definitely a song in the key of AB, but the band absolutely makes it their own. It continues the thread of defiance and standing up for yourself, and does it well, while again flowing into the superb ‘Hold Fire’, which while not the title track, does make wonderful us of the album title as a line in the song. More bands should do this, because it never fails to make me smile when I hear it. The song itself is another fine example of just how well the gang mixes a heavier sound with some damn finely written melodies.
‘End of the Line’ is another of my favourites, and is actually my favourite on the entire album. Much like ‘The Last Time’ in theme, although much heavier in tone, and honestly, for me at least,darker. I know everything we view in life is subject to bias, so I guess my own lot in life is what makes me pick these songs as my favourites, but damn it if this isn’t relatable as fuck. Musically it’s transcendent, far surpassing anything else I’ve heard so far this year, and damn near all of last year too.
From there we have a song that you might feel is out of place on an album like this, but somehow it just fits. It’s the keyboard driven ‘Give Into Me’. Indeed, from Gemma herself, it’s a Freddie Mercury inspired ballad, musically, and that really comes across, the vocal harmonies, the guitar sting near the end, it’s very Queen, and sounds just as good as the band themselves.
After that though, we approach the tail end of the album, and kicking off the final two is ‘Winds of Fallen Skies’, and while it doesn’t quite bring us back up to the energy levels we had earlier on, it does keep us on this darker path we’ve been travelling. Once again the guitar work of Stephen Platt shines through exceptionally well here, his guitar playing as if a man possessed. The backing vocal work here adds a sinister edge to proceedings as well, really serving to drive home the darkness of the song.
Sadly, all things must come to an end, and there are few endings sadder than this one. This is ‘We Stand Together’. I say sad, the topic of the song is a sad one, the meaning of the song however, is, as the rest of the album, defiant, empowering, lifting. This song is one written in tribute to the Manchester bombing of last year, and honestly, any words I have about it wouldn’t be enough. You have to listen to this one. No really, you HAVE to. This is my third pick of the album. Listen to it. You’ll get why.
So there we have it. Quite possibly the album of the year from quite possibly the best band in Britain today. In my humble (and admittedly biased) opinion, Collibus are one of the top three bands in all of Britain, and based off of this album, they won’t be losing that spot any time soon.
Go seek this album out, it’s on Spotify, then go seek out their facebook page, their merch page, and tell ’em Totally Tankered sent you.
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Collibus
Get the album here: www.nodustrecords.com/…
Buy band merch here: collibus.bigcartel.com