This Hamburg duo, founded by Chris Burda and Martin Grimm, reintroduce an art rock genre, which found moderate success between the late 80’s and the millennium. After being recognised by Q-Mag, Clash Magazine and Rocksound, the instrumental group Collapse Under The Empire demonstrate ‘Fragments Of A Prayer’.
The duo pride themselves on providing a cinematic showpiece, with ‘Fragments Of A Prayer’ being no different. It also doesn’t deviate from eliminated vocal, instrumental style commonly seen in most post-rock groups this side of the 2000’s.
It’s opening is a slow, atmospheric rise of tamed tension. The gradual release of energy means it holds focus as it progresses towards the middle of the song listings. ‘Breaking The Light’ does everything to manipulate the game plan by welcoming an even moodier disposition. A not so subtle change from what was told in the albums opening (‘Fragments Of A Prayer’).
Inspired by a fist clenched victory fist pump skywards, there is a build up of controlled anger accompanied with the tribal slapping of goblet drums as heard when ‘In The Cold’ starts. Whilst the album leans towards a livid personality in these parts, it still feels calculated and coordinated in ‘180 Seconds’.
‘Distance’ introduces a universal mindset, changing from volatile melodic rhythm to a stretched embrace of drums and crashing cymbals before it reverts back to its old habits.
Before it’s settled, ‘Fragments Of A Prayer’ shifts its focus once again, slipping into an electronic sonic (‘Opening Sky’). A frequent change in ideology isn’t abrupt as it carries through into ‘The Beyond’. This is where the calming guitar progressions start to become clearer and facilitate the coming together of all the different sounds and feelings.
‘Fragments Of A Prayer’ climaxes in a soulful, but cautious tone. A somewhat reserved finale after the outspoken symbols smashing of ‘When The Day Fades Away’, it’s penultimate piece. It’s reminiscent of casual step back from the spotlight. Whilst the mood alternates back and forth like a metronome, it’s still totally unanticipated at first.
The whole album is an emotionality thoughtful expression of post-rock. The song list is planned, and the albums structure gives it remembrance.
Centrepieces like ‘In The Cold’ and ‘Distance’ intentionally mislead before surprising with a surreptitious change of style and emotion. But whilst it swings back and forth, it’s constant evolution can grow a little tiresome towards the end. Overall, ‘Fragments Of A Prayer’ presents a battle-born ambience which ends in a blissful retraction. 7/10.