Album Review: COLOSSUS – Wake

Perennity Records/Sound Pollution

Colossus are a classic power trio delivering stoner/doom metal spliced with melodic colour and progressive elements running through many of their arrangements.

The band hail from Sweden and ‘Wake’ is their first full album following a debut EP that hit the racks back in 2011. It is a good debut and there is plenty to like in this powerful, intense and exploratory metal workout. On the other hand, not all the experimentation works all the time.

Album opener, ‘A Stir of Thunder’ is a perfect example. The track kicks off with a great guitar sound and big throaty vocals from Niklas Eriksson. Sometimes he’s a bit too throaty and you catch yourself saying, ‘cough it up, man!’ And while the track chugs along nicely for a while, it soon gets a bit rambly as if the band don’t quite know where to go with it. An odd choice to introduce the album.

‘Reflections of the Arcane’ is better. Eriksson’s guitar provides a heavily distorted, barely tethered growl on the verse that spars with a chorus driven by the murderous drumming of Thomas Norsted. The drum track crackles underneath Eriksson’s vocal who, having cleared the frog from his throat, delivers in fine style.

‘Suncarrier’ is a glorious beast built around Peter Berg’s thunderous bass and with a delicious guitar/drum groove down the main spine of the track. There’s ambition here, which is great to see. But a bit more experience will help them decide where to draw the lines. For instance the Indian influenced singing works well here, whereas the heavily distorted phrases at the top of the vocal range, for me, don’t. It sounds like Eriksson is screaming underwater.

‘Pillars of Perennity’ is just about the best track on show. It is a less complex composition than others and benefits from direct, powerful, fat riffing and proper shouty, doom vocals from guest crooner Lars G Petrov from Entombed. And check out the insane drumming on the outro. Brilliant. ‘Ruinbuilder’ is another that tends to run out of steam after flirting with a number of different arrangements and moods. The guitar hook is a bit clumsy and the track doesn’t quite hang together.

‘Traitors Gate’ is similar, but what a great guitar outro fed through a distorted wah wah pedal cranked all the way up to 11. There are plenty of good moments scattered throughout the album, from the guest drumming of Morgan Agren on ‘Kingdom’ to the heavily Sabbath influenced bassline and vocal echo of ‘Cloudhead’. The dramatic, almost plaintive vocal delivery on the ‘Fungal Gardens’, clocking in at 11 minutes, is also a well worth a double take.

For the most part this is a really encouraging full debut.

***½

Dave Atkinson


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Power Plays w/c 15 October 2018

BIRDSONG AT MORNING Waterfall (Blue Gentian Records)
GUN RUNNERS Save Our Souls (indie)
THE BUZNIKS Nail It To The Floor (3MS Music)
NAZARETH The Secret Is Out (Frontiers)
CITY OF THIEVES Fuel And Alcohol (Frontiers)

Featured Albums w/c 15 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 STEVE PERRY Traces (BMG)
12:00-13:00 URIAH HEEP Living The Dream (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BIRDSONG AT MORNING Signs And Wonders (Blue Gentian Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 STEVE MORSE/SARAH SPENCER Angelfire (2010)



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