Split albums are an excellent tool for bands to come together and unleash an onslaught of material which you may not necessarily have been familiar with beforehand – and with Collaboration LP (Handshake Inc., 7 Degrees Records, and Nerve Altarboth) Haapoja and Dephosphorus have not missed the trick at all. Whether intentional or not, these collaborative records encourage a certain level of competition as well – who goes harder than the other? The competitive edge has allowed both bands to absolutely raise their game – in this case it is Finland vs. Greece.
A really interesting element to this split LP is the fact that on both of the respective opening tracks the bands traded front men – and oddly enough both the opening tracks of each section are the better tracks.
The first portion of the album then comes from the Finnish maniacs in Haapoja, who shoot out of the blocks with a phenomenal level of aggression and calculated speed. Opening track ‘We See With Teeth’ builds and builds with this brilliantly executed Thrash style. In fact the pace never really lets up in their half of the album as they race through four tracks in just over ten minutes. The band mesh different influences together, sounding a bit like early Kvelertak – and as you reach the conclusion of their half you’ll find yourself thinking that Dephosphorus will seriously need to deliver something special after a breathless ten minutes, and to be fair to them they absolutely do.
Dephosphorus explode in to the track ‘Aika’ boasting the same level of aggression but with an added element of groove. Away from the first track, the vocals on their side of the LP sound like desperate cries, similar to the power and aggression delivered by the likes of Frank Carter in the early days of Gallows. The two bands on this record do sound similar, but where Haapoja deliver solely a smash mouth flurry of aggression, Dephosphorus smash that same style together with some slower, heavier moments which accentuates the groove.
One thing is for sure, with both bands you’re left salivating for more. This will almost certainly be an album which will sit under the radar, but give it a go – you will not be disappointed. Both bands deliver their music with such passion you cannot help but be taken in by its infectious nature as the quality of the output encourages repeat listens. Yeah the production is a bit shaky at times, but it gives the whole Collaboration LP that added bit of character, it is a raw and snarling beast.