Dazzling Killmen

Face of Collapse

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Dazzling Killmen made some extremely intense and unique rock music in the early '90s and Face of Collapse is the high point in their brief discography. Their sound clearly draws on hardcore punk, but the funky, jazz fusion-influenced rhythm section, comprised of Darin Gray (an accomplished solo performer who has collaborated with Loren Mazzacane Connors) on bass and Blake Fleming (who went on to play in Laddio Bolocko) on drums, and the creepy, almost gothic guitar interplay of Nick Sakes (now of Sicbay) and Tim Garrigan almost make Face of Collapse into a prog rock record, albeit a bludgeoning one. Songs like "Staring Contest" and "Agitator" hurtle forward with driving, odd time rhythms and violent guitar stabs, while the epic, ten-plus-minute "In the Face of Collapse" builds more ominously to a torrential payoff. The vocals of Nick Sakes range from an anguished screech to a creepy spoken-word delivery and his dark, oblique lyrics add to the overall mood of dread. Face of Collapse is a milestone for underground extreme rock in the '90s and should be experienced by fans of everything from Slint to the Dillinger Escape Plan to Rush.

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