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Press ramblings describe Sweden's Colossus as performing "headstrong, burly metal with roots deep in the impenetrable mire of the stoner/doom/sludge tradition nuanced with streaks of progressive rock and psychadelica." If a blend of said styles results in the music on 'Wake', their debut album, then fair enough but I can hear little that is discretely stoner, doom, or sludge. There are some down-tempo moments characterised by down-tuned, sludgy guitars, and generally slower paced passages, but I'd still refrain from labelling it sludge/doom, and certainly not stoner. "Streaks of progressive rock and psychadelica" are most definitely discernible, and if it wasn't for an extant plethora of journalistic labels within the metal genre then I'd be tempted to call this prog-sludge, or post-sludge, but we don't need any more subgenres, right? So, to save further division of an already overly fragmented genre, I'll make do with an old favourite for those who want a more apt description: alt-metal. And a mere trio of musicians - Niklas Eriksson on guitar/vocals; bassist Peter Berg and Thomas Norstedt on drums - Colossus kick out a hefty old sound that belies their minimalist constitution. Down-tuned instruments, apart from resulting in a sludgy twang to proceedings, provide the songs with a resonant heaviness so this lot are a power trio who know how to fill out the sound despite their minimal elements. And Eriksson's semi-yelled, slightly discordant, quasi-punk delivery carries forward the alt-metal tradition of vocalists like Perry Farrell and Page Hamilton. Sure, it's slightly off-key, but kind of fitting for the music and tonal dissonance is compensated for by a powerful delivery. Entombed frontman Lars Göran Petrov crops up midway through to guest on 'Pillars of Perennity' and sticksman Morgan Ågren from prog rockers Kaipa, ex-Frank Zappa et al appears on 'Kingdom'. Two interesting contributors although, to be honest, they don't really add that much to Colossus' dynamic. If being able to namedrop a couple of guesting luminaries gets the band a bit more attention, however, then good on 'em. And I'm sure, with the right exposure and a lucky break or two, Colossus will become an eminent name in their own right if they're able to build on the solid foundations established on 'Wake'.
Perennity Records
Review by Mark Holmes
3rd June 2013
1) A Stir of Slumber
2) Traitors Gate
3) Reflections of the Arcane
4) Ruinbuilder
5) Pillars of Perennity
6) Suncarrier
7) Kingdoms
8) Cloudhead
9) Fungai Gardens
"...this lot are a power trio who know how to fill out the sound despite their minimal elements."