Colosso - Obnoxious coverMuch like Car Bomb (who are set to release an album during a very busy October) or C.B MurdocColosso occupy a strange perch in the metal world. While they’re obviously huge Meshuggah fans, their groovy, mid-paced metal is a far cry from the tech-prog peddled by djent bands. Yet the group’s history fits the bill quite well, beginning as a one-man band before gradually accruing members to flesh out their current sound. A steady stream of releases since 2012 hasn’t garnered the Portuguese metallers much attention, but it has seen their sound simplified, as 2014’s Foregone Semblances EP demonstrated. Darker and deeper than before, Obnoxious aims to finally assert the group as a band, but half-baked songs and a dearth of riffage do them no favors.

Colosso doesn’t do much to differentiate themselves from their influences. The tone palette is all Thordendal, but there’s little Haake to be had in the rhythm department, with the guitarists relying heavily on chugs that crawl across tom-heavy drumming. “In Memoriam” starts out with a chug-screech riff ripped straight from Ion Dissonance, followed by sustained, ringing leads that add a dose of atmosphere. The combination makes for a strong opener, but alas there’s not much quality material after it. The final song, “A Noxious Reflection” experiments with a Catch Thirtythree-inspired intro and a synth-horn ending that ties the song up in a nice little bow, but the twenty some minutes between the songs is completely barren.

Obnoxious feels like a single giant breakdown belched from the maw of a band without a single original riff. It’s entirely rehashed versions of weak grooves that you’ve probably heard before – and by the album’s b-side, you certainly have. The leads are trem-picked and simple Thorendal-inspired bits, but so buried in the mix under boring chugs that any virtue is completely obfuscated. “Soaring Waters” sounds like a Rivers of Nihil reject with a pseudo-slam bridge wedged into it (complete, to their credit, with an open snare), and “Seven Space Collisions” is just a waste of three minutes of your life while a bassist learns some arpeggios. If this is the part where you expect a comment on Obnoxious being an appropriate name, I’ll put an end to speculation; the album simply isn’t noticeable enough.

Colosso band 2016

Despite the band’s growth in members, Colosso still sound very much like a bedroom project; Obnoxious‘ mix is dense and punchy, but still feels slightly sterile and sounds compressed. The cymbals sound like a hiss and I wouldn’t be surprised if their drummer was entirely replaced with robo-Haake, given how lively the drumming is. In terms of dynamic range, they’ve nailed the Meshuggah sound1. These production complaints atop already poor writing make for a tiresome album that gets quite worn after just one or two spins.

The momentum of “In Memoriam” got me about halfway through Obnoxious on my first listen, but Colosso‘s steadfast lack of ideas spooled out all of the goodwill rope I was willing to give by “Seven Space Collisions.” This album is just boring on every level, and the basic sound that the band is shooting for – a simpler version of Meshuggah – is just a bad idea on the face of it. I had hoped for much more, given the promise of earlier EPs, but it seems the route of simplification that Colosso have taken really leads nowhere. If you’re looking for Meshuggah-inspired dirges and wild experimentation, pass this over. After all, with new Car Bomb, and of course, Meshuggah albums rapidly approaching, you’ll get them soon enough.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-released
Websites: music.colossometal.com | facebook.com/colossometal
 Releases Worldwide: September 9th, 2016

Show 1 footnote

  1. Despite having a pretty industry-average DR, I think ObZen and Koloss sounded noticeably worse than a lot of contemporaneous albums.
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  • Grymm

    I misread C.B. Murdoc’s name and, well…

    https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=_BLmsxq0GSM

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    This is a shame. Their first record was actually quite good.

    • brutal_sushi

      The Epiphany had my favorite metal moment of 2012 on it… So crushing. And yes this album is a damn shame.

    • The first album was incredible, after that everything went downhill in my opinion. Nobody can deny the talent of this band but I think the aggressiveness and no fucks given attitude of the debut is totally lost.

  • [not a Dr]

    First record (and its instrumental version) now on my wishlist.
    The second one was about to make its way there too, but then Ecosystem broke down.

    • brutal_sushi

      I didn’t really like Thallium that much. But Abrasive Peace is so fucking good! This is record doesn’t do anything for me. Sounds nothing like Abrasive Peace Colloso.

  • Diego Molero

    Am I the only one who doesn’t like Meshuggah? I have try to get into them but I just can’t, maybe I haven’t listened to the right album.

    • Kronos

      Many people don’t like Meshuggah, but there are more and less accessible albums. What have you heard?

      • Diego Molero

        Mostly obZen and Destroy Erase Improve

        • Kronos

          I’d try Chaosphere next.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Like Diego, Meshuggah never struck a chord for me, but Chaosphere might change that. Concatenation is a monster, and Neurotica is also killer. However, is it just me, or is there some rapping going on in Neurotica?

        • Obzen is where I got on board with Meshuggah and it’s still the one I go back to most often.

          • Wow Madam, you are really late to the party!

          • She’s a youngen.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Druhm… I am sorry… I am sorry I gave you shit for all those female-fronted doom records you gave high praise to. You must check out SubRosa’s latest album. It is incredible. I am not even kidding. The first track alone puts Belfry to shame. I swear, if you don’t love it, I will eat my own shorts.

          • I’ll listen but nothing beats Belfy, so marinate those shorts.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Not if you eat your words first.

    • SegaGenitals

      I hated them at first. One day it clicked. If you like old-school school thrash, start working your way chronologically through their discog; you’ll see the gradual evolution.

      • Diego Molero

        I do like old-school thrash quite a lot, I’ll try as you say to see if that works for me.

        • Contradictions Collapse is great old-school tech-thrash

        • AndySynn

          There’s some nicely thashy stuff on Koloss tbh… “The Hurt That Finds You First” being a prime example.

      • This. Totally this. I was in your boat Diego before it just “clicked”. I really recommend DEI.

        EDIT: Never mind. Didn’t see the comment below. Apologies.

        • Diego Molero

          Well it was a long time ago when I listened to DEI, will give it another go, maybe it will clik this time.

          • One can not really call themself a djentleman (or djentllady for that matter) without getting into Meshuggah.

            I’m here all day.

          • Diego Molero

            Well that is exactly my problem! I’m no djentleman at all. I like some bands, but overall I find it to be a very dull sub-genre. But I know Meshuggah is different, they are not some average-djent-band, that is why I want to get into them and like it.

          • You’re on your way to being a true djentleman! Remember the chug goes before the riff on the left side of the napkin. Always on the left.

    • Bart the Repairman

      Everytime I have problem with pressing ‘play’ and staying for first few minutes. Then the music starts to hypnotize me and I can’t turn it off till the end of the album.

  • SegaGenitals

    Colos-tomy

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    My first few spins of this were intriguing, and I felt I should have liked it more based on my personal tastes, but it occupies the same score as yours as of now.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I was expecting a comment on Obnoxious being an appropriate name right until you mentioned it…

  • Bart the Repairman

    I agree, the whole idea is just wrong. When you want to create engaging music based only on chugging, better do something crazy with rythms, textures or sound palette, otherwise you will bore your listener to death. This one desperately needs a lead instrument.

  • junkyhead

    I don’t think they’re that close to Meshuggah as this review makes you think. Colosso made a stunning record with this one, definitely making me a big fan. Top 10 album of the year material.

  • junkyhead

    Having heard the whole record i can safely say that it ranks at the top5 of 2016. ‘Soaring Waters’ is a monster of a track.

  • I can see where you draw the comparisons with this and Meshuggah, and by that mark this album isn’t going to measure up. But as a progression from their earlier albums (Thalium, Abrasive Peace, etc. ) this is some quality writing. The songs have room to breathe. There’s interesting things happening in there besides a ton of blast-beats.

    I’d love to see your views on this album after you’ve given it time to marinate.