Taking the Limits of Functions to Motherfucking Infinity would be a better name, but Integers (Escape Artist, 2007) is probably more marketable. As the title implies, it’s all about the math. When time signatures stray from 4/4, people start throwing around terms like “math” and “prog.” They apply here, but Dream Theater is light years away.

The Great Caldera
Drilling Holes Through Space

A “collapsar” is a “collapsed star,” a kind of black hole. Collapsar, however, aren’t so astral. This Louisiana trio sounds like kids who started out covering Converge, discovered Don Caballero, decided that singers were wack, and dove into the discographies of Dysrhythmia and Behold…The Arctopus. But Collapsar aren’t as technical as BTA, and they don’t build soundscapes like Dysrhythmia.

In fact, Integers is almost devoid of reverb. The incredibly dry mix may startle some, but few things are as engaging as a good dry mix (these tones recall Mastodon). Here, it highlights amazing performances. The results feel “live,” a feat for material of this sort. It’s easy for prog to devolve into stiff, “we love Rush for the musicianship” number-crunching. But drummer Brett Judice has plenty of swing, and guitarists Adam Harris and Stephen Sheppert have such synchronicity that the lack of a bassist is irrelevant.

These six tracks total an hour, but they never feel long. The amount of ground covered is immense – metal, post-hardcore, surf-in-space abstraction, even ’60s-ish psychedelia. Collapsar play circles around you, and you will bow down.

Integers is available at Escape Artist, Relapse, and Interpunk.