I’ve spent the last few minutes trying to stick a label on Wake. Not that it matters anyway and, to be honest, watching MTV on mute while listening to “Ruinbuilder” with my headphones on is a valid alternative to tiring out my brain. Ms Germanotta is out of sync in this peculiar, extemporary world of mine as she moves about trying to keep up with the pace imposed by the nervous beat of a Swedish drummer. This unrepeatable choreography slowly fades into the background as Niklas Eriksson’s vocals, sometimes reminiscent of Savatage’s Zachary Stevens and Jon Oliva’s melancholic elegance, boldly sets the record straight with the opener “A Stir from Slumber”.
Those who hear some sludge in this, have never heard of Eyehategod and Iron Monkey, while if you read the word ‘stoner’ somewhere near Colossus, look away because you are being cheated. The truth is probably somewhere between hard rock and post-metal: that territory inhabited by the likes of Mastodon and Primordial where anything is within touching distance if the right riff is used. Wake is an album so well-written that even Lars G Petrov’s contribution on “Pillars of Perennity” goes almost completely unnoticed. And that was Mr Entombed, for those of you who started listening to metal thanks to Soilwork.
The peculiarity of Colossus (if you’ve had a chance to listen to their excellent EP Spiritual Myiasis from 2011, you know what I am talking about) is that they can be immediately enjoyed. Their music is catchy (in an extremely good way) and intense at the same time. But at the same time it changes, the album you listen to the first time you give it a try, will be a completely different kind of beast the tenth time you listen to it.
Expect your hair to be ruffled by “Suncarrier”. No hair? No problem. Colossus will rouse you out of your dormant state with intense static tension created by the likes of “Kingdom” and “Reflections”. How do they do that? Dynamics are everything. Especially when there’s a trio involved. For instance, there is not a single moment in “Fungal Garden” where the band indulges in utterly boring twenty-first century’s psychedelic digressions (that is: two whammy pedals, a turned-off drummer and a bassist on coke). On the contrary: the whole 11 minutes are a fine example of the infinite range of possibilities a band has when it limits its presence to maximize its potential.
Power to the fuzz! I’m sure I hear someone say as I see Ms Germanotta mimic a sexual act out the corner of my right eye. Colossus’ music reveals all its beauty in this uncompassionate contrast. Do you want to call this album sludge-pop? Well, you may. Here’s a band which does not reuse but reinvents. One that you wouldn’t be surprised to find opening for Carcass and record a split album with Ancestors. Write down this name because, chances are, most of you will feel compelled to add it to your top-something lists at the end of this year.