Colosseum - _Chapter 1: Delirium_
(Firebox, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (8.5 out of 10)
Colosseum has but recently sprung dispassionately from the loins of Juhani Palomaki, he of the former metal stalwarts Yearning. Yearning also counted itself among the doom throng, but Colosseum has jettisoned the acoustic and classical nuances for a straight ahead funeral doom approach, replete with droning whole & quarter notes and extended songs which stretch out over barren soundscapes into a seemingly endless horizon.

From the first note, "The Gates of Adar" swallows you up in its Lovecraftian menace, a sheer black hole of despair and centuries old doom, the kind of farsighted hopelessness that reaches back to the beginning of time. Elsewhere lyrics range from myth mining to suicidal reflections on the meaninglessness of life itself, but throughout remains that crushing, slow marching bleakness. The primary font of variety is the double threat of the lead guitar and keyboard riffs, both of which are used merely for coloring and not to go on some extended flights of fancy. No, this is one seriously grounded album.

At thirteen minutes, "Weathered" ably demonstrates the best Colosseum have to offer, a monstrously slow but patiently evolving composition that builds up to a spiraling arch-menace of spiraling notes. "Saturnine Vastness" ably evokes the epic sweep of an isolated being wandering aimlessly through Purgatory. The album closes out spectacularly with "Delirium", the sound of all that previous despair rapidly degenerating into a malicious insanity. Colosseum have managed to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the field of glacially slow, funeral doom; let's just hope the fact that they're on a small label doesn't cause them to get overlooked.


(article published 14/1/2008)

3/15/2009 Y Zhu 7 Colosseum - Chapter 2: Numquam
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