Album Review: Colosso – Apocalypse 9 (Death Metal)

Written by Carcassbomb

Surprise surprise, another brilliant release from Transcending Obscurity Records. I’ll never get tired of covering their roster, it’s so diverse and creative. This is where being a metal journalist and being a fan of music collide perfectly, getting early access to my favorite record labels releases. This time around I’m listening to the new EP from Colosso and I don’t typically do a full review for an EP but I believe they have utilised the format perfectly. It tells a short and concise story while also presenting new musical ideas across each track. It helps that we’re dealing with very experienced musicians, this album is a unique collaboration that ties into the themes of the release which I will get into. Apocalypse will be released February 14th, 2020.

Heres some context I was proved in the press kit that will help provide context for my thoughts on the music:

“Based on the concept of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, founding member Max Tomé has recruited different vocalists for each song to give them their own identity and it helps that they’re reputed figures in the Portuguese underground namely – Guilherme Henriques of Oak and Gaerea, Diogo Santana of Analepsy, and Sérgio Afonso of Bleeding Display. Furthermore, to lend a human element to this futuristic album, Robin Stone of Norse has taken over the drumming duties, with Alexandre Ribeiro of Grog fulfilling the bass responsibilities, while Max Tomé does the rest.”

This is a bloody brilliant idea. When they say Max does the rest they’re talking Vocals on ‘Death’, Guitars, Keyboards and Lyrics, essentially serving as the host of this exotic experiment. The result is quite profound and certainly interesting. Opening with “Pestilence” we have a longer slower death metal song that sounds deceptively typical but as it progresses the space becomes larger and more volatile. This is a spotlight track for the bass which twirls beneath the super deep growls and doom like guitars with pure wizardry. Then you also have dissonant keys spread across this miasma of a track. It’s cracks open the album and won’t let you go for the whole 8 minutes. You’re in their grasp and there’s no escape. A pestilence doesn’t happen suddenly or at once, it happens in waves followed by prolonged misery.

“War” opens with a much faster tempo, like a march into battle that then abruptly stops and opens fire with grinding death metal and dual vocals. There’s a great breakdown on this track that was totally unexpected. There’s a strong sense of the old and the new coming together here which can also be heard with the guitars becoming more technical. “Death” is a more straightforward track where the centrepiece is the record’s only clean vocals and guitars. It’s more about mourning than the rest of the album which works just fine thematically.

Colosso: Bandcamp / Facebook

Finally we have “Famine” which is one of the most mosh worthy tracks on here with blast beats, insanely guttural-grindcore-gurgle-vocals backed by Cattle Decapitation style highs farther back in the mixing. The melodic siren-esque guitars give “Famine” and Apocalypse a very cinematic ending. What a cool fucking release.

It always makes me happy to see collaboration within the metal scene for the sake of experimentation succeed. It’s projects like Colosso that understand how stale the metal scene can be and want to bring something new to the table. I cherish that as someone who listens to metal everyday – of varying quality – it brings out the passion in me as a metal writer.

Merch at Transcending Obscurity


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