Review: Colligere/Faded Grey, Split (Seven Eight Life, 2002)

Colligere (Paraná, Brazil) starts this split off with seven tracks of their excellent melodic hardcore, this time around with a slightly more modern and metallic edge (sort of like a simpler Shai Hulud), but still heavily rooted in traditional old school sounds (à la Gorilla Biscuits, for example). The vocals are a mix of screaming and singing, with a little more singing here. As far as the music, there are lots of octave chords and melodic lead lines as the two guitars play off of one another almost constantly, and the basslines pound away against rock-solid percussion. "Glória É Um Momento Silencioso" is a longer and more diverse track than the others, offering up a lot of emotion and energy—definitely the standout of the record. They also drop a killer cover of "Thursday," one of my absolute favorite Turning Point songs of all time. Of course their rendition isn't as good as the original, but it's a great choice because it definitely meets up with where a lot of Colligere's influences reside. The production is pretty damn good. I really like the guitar sound, it's just right for what they're doing: not too heavy, retaining clarity, etc. The percussion sounds really warm, the bass is there, and the vocals are mixed in nicely. I might like to hear a bit more depth to the drumming, but other than that I really like the sound. The lyrics are in Portuguese with English translations and deal largely with personal issues tied into the bigger picture of really trying to live your life to the fullest and things of that nature. Not bad.

Faded Grey (Las Vegas) is up next with five songs from their A Quiet Time of Desperation CD on Indecision Records. For some bizarre reason I've never heard of this band, but this shit fucking rules! Not unlike Colligere it's melodic hardcore with a mix of modern and old school influences, but they're a little faster and more energetic, and they also do more work with really smooth clean breaks and things like that. The songwriting is just fucking awesome, though. The vocals sort of remind me of later Endpoint, but the music is heavier and more intricate, never getting too complex and never shedding melody. They've got a good sound, too. The drums snap out a little bit as the guitars are a tad muddy (barely), but you can hear the bass and the vocals sounds fine, so all-in-all it sounds really good. It has a '90s hardcore type of sound in some ways. I'm really into this. The songs are so memorable and they just never let up. Fucking awesome. The lyrics have Portuguese translations provided (a nice touch) and deal with mostly personal stuff, sometimes tying into the hardcore scene or what have you:

"It breaks my heart that we let ourselves fall apart. We used to be a threat. United we had a chance, but divided we don't mean shit compared to the mindless masses we fight against. We've torn our house down from the inside out with the convenience of our cliques..."

I really like the layout. The stylized figure illustrations are cool, the colors are nice, the text is simple and legible, etc. The front cover is just awesome, though. It really stands out a lot and catches the eye in my opinion. And I like that the way the translations are presented is logical as well (with the lyrics on one side of the foldout panels and the translations on the reverse sides). This is a great fucking split from two perfectly-matched bands. I highly recommend each artist. It's too bad Faded Grey broke up last year, I believe. I've still gotta go buy their full-length immediately, though. Great work. Check these bands out...

[Seven Eight Life]
Running time - 28:53, Tracks: 12
[Notable tracks: Desencanto, Thursday, Glória É Um Momento Silencioso, The Great Divide, Shine]
Seven Eight Life -