Puissance – State Collapse

Usually I quite appreciate the work of Puissance from Sweden. For some reason I had missed this release from 2003, but I recently encountered it in a record store. Just like the previous album ‘Total Cleansing’ it has been released on Regain Records. By now Puissance has already created half a dozen of albums filled with dark orchestral sounds.

Generally speaking these eight new tracks are in the same line as previous material of Puissance. Bombastic orchestral sounds, atmospheric neo-classical synth music, some militant drumming and dark spoken words. Directly familiar sounds the opening track ‘Trace Elements’, with its overwhelimg choirs. Of course themetically the mood is grim as usual, we are told again by M√∂ller and S√∂derlund that the world is utterly miserable. The spoken words are perhaps not as charismatic as those of Boyd Rice, Michael Moynihan or Coph Nia, but still the pessimistic message is clearly spread.

Nevertheless I have the feeling that ‘State Collapse’ sound a little more accessible and friendly than I’m used of Puissance. Songs like ‘Raining vengeance’ and ‘resorting to war’ are almost catchy and melodic, with actual singing. Instrumental pieces like the title track or ‘Self Degradation’ sound medieval and perhaps romantic, they could well be included on the soundtrack of an epic fantasy trilogy.

A solid Puissance album, with some nice cinematic hymns which belong to the best work of Puissance. Most of the material is what you would expect from Puissance, with a few surprising nuances.

artist: Puissance
label: Regain Records
details: 8 tracks, 2003