Friday, July 11, 2008

The Colossus Will Crush You

COLOSSUS – “…And The Rift Of The Pan-Dimensional Undergods” CD ’08 (Private, US) – I have come upon a very basic truth in life. You see, I love a great doom metal album. I really dig a well-done Celtic folk disc. And, man I get itchy guitar fingers when I hear a bluegrass guitarist like one of the guys in Iron Ridge peel off a snazzy lick. But you know what? Fair or not as it may be, everything just pales into the background when a band comes roaring out of the wasteland with dual Gibsons, one surging catchy metallic riff after another, and enough raw, scalding lead guitar solos to give Brian Robertson a brain hemorrhage. Why do you think my true desert island discs include things like “Stained Class,” “Black Rose” & “Dirty Power?” Point is, man, every now and then, a true motherfucker comes along and when it does, it simply obliterates anything in my play-pile for months. May I now introduce you to a band of 6 bad-asses from North Carolina called COLOSSUS. These 6 bad-asses (yes, I said 6 – they have THREE lead guitar players) are the authors of a motherfucker entitled “…And The Rift Of The Pan-Dimensional Undergods.” First off, how ‘bout that title? You know right off that these people are either A) full of shit B) crazy or C) ridiculously great. COLOSSUS is B and C. From the very opening guitar salvo of “Limit-Break,” it is obvious that there is nothing being left on the table. These are real men with pointy guitars who have listened to their fair share of THE RAWK and realize that it’s their vocation to bring it themselves. On to “The Message,” “Salamandastron” and “One Was Man.” Four songs in and there is not a hint of any quarter being given. This is like the first damn time you listened to “Stained Class,” really, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Your ass is being kicked and in your sick, twisted metal loving heart, you want the album to just keep getting better as it’s threatening to do but don’t dare ask for such things. Instead, they are foisted upon you like an unrelenting firestorm, in the name of the 11-minute “Willow” that follows. Imagine Bible Of The Devil’s “Warrior Fugue” being injected with the stuff Roger Clemens was using, then being raised to the 10th power. Seriously, I’m a man and I nearly wept when the acoustic section of this one came up. You look at the track listing & realize you’re not even half way in. God help us all because the next song is called “Ghostfucker.” You want this to be the best song so far, just because you think the title is ridiculously great, but that would be too much, right? Wrong! Right between the eyes, up your nose with a Flying V hose! And how ‘bout the vocals of Sean Buchanan? When Halford laid down “Saints In Hell” in 1978 he must’ve had some vision of this from the future. And then comes the rest of the album…without any respite, without any lowering of the intensity or the ripping destruction: “Bubba Zanetti,” “Legends Of The Future,” “Hoc’tel,” “Colossus.” Every moment is a sonic landscape for the axe murdering barrage unleashed by Bill Fischer, Nicholas Perros and Andy Lewis, the 3 guitar wielders who terrorize this disc. Buoyed by the rampaging rhythm section of Benjamin Smith (drums) & Rylan Wilshire (bass), these guys just carve up the proceedings & lay one helluva gauntlet down to any other metal band out there. I could go the usual route and offer a comparison by saying this band is a cross between early Maiden, Watchtower and BotD with Chris Poland, KK Downing & Scott Gorham on guitar & vintage Halford on vox but even that may not be a good sell. I can’t overstate the magnitude of this album, my good readers. If you’re poison of choice is kick ass metal, “…And The Rift…” is as good as anything out there. Anything. 10.0

TYR – “Land” CD ’08 (Napalm, Den) – TYR began their career with a bang a few years back following their sterling debut “How Far To Asgaard” with the even…sterling “Eric The Red.” Taking the folk music indigenous to their native Faroe Islands & lashing it to gloriously original metal songs, they were operating at a very high level indeed. In fact, one knowledgeable writer on another site compared their songwriting skill to that of Budgie. That’s astronomical praise and it was deserved. The band’s 3rd release (and first to debut on Napalm Records) “Ragnarok” (’06) saw them keep the quality high. Whether it was quite on a par with “Ereic…” is debatable but suffice it to say it was damn good. All of which is why “Land” is disappointing. Believe me, I’ve got nothing against intros, interludes, etc. After all, I love “Nostradamus.” But frankly, between those that TYR pepper this record with & the fact that several of the songs stretch on forever…well, “Land” just doesn’t seem to reach shore on a lot of fronts. While the playing is brilliant, the production is spot-on and the digipak is damn cool, many of the songs suffer from that ol’ Metallica “Orion Syndrome.” They take a long, winding road to nowhere in particular. I really hope that this is a blip TYR, possibly record done too quickly & therefore I still hold a good deal of hope for their next effort. In the meantime, get those oars in the water and start rowing back to “Eric The Red.” 6.0

SHAME CLUB – “Come On” CD ’08 (Small Stone, US) – I was shooting the breeze with my buddy Andre’ a couple weeks ago & the conversation turned to the fact that the last few years have produced a lotta bands with a Thin Lizzy influence. Nice to see, and of course, some are better than others. Pride Tiger, Thunder Lip & Glyder are a few that rise to the top. SHAME CLUB, while not boasting a host of harmony leads still give a decent nod to Philo’s crew in both song style & especially the vocal tone of John Lumley. Also tipping their caps to names like Poobah & Humble Pie, SC are honestly not going to send anybody screaming “Godly” from the mountaintops. Still, their disc ain’t a bad one to throw in your car case. 7.0

LORDI – “Get Heavy” CD ’08 (The End, Fin) – The funny thing is, I actually kinda liked LORDI’s last album. It was pretty cool, straight-ahead commercial metal with a bit of humor but with enough cool, catchy riffs thrown in to make it a fun listen. This time, around however I am sorry to say that these guys (who’s claim to fame is winning some European songwriting contest) have laid a stinking rotten goose egg. I have to go way back to come up with something that features as many clichéd, regurgitated half-ass ideas as this. You know how a movie like the first “Ace Ventura” or “RV” is stupid in a very good, funny way? Well, this crock of shit is stupid in a very bad way. This has all the hallmarks of a bunch of dopes that took Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry,” stole a lick from each song, then went to a middle school and stole every other sentence they heard on the playground to use for song lyrics. Also, it may behoove Manowar & Gwar to check their closets and loin-cloth drawers as soon as they can, ‘cause I think this bunch of dorks have been rooting around in ‘em. “Get Heavy.” Yeah right, “Get lost” is more like it. 1.5

1 comment:

Mark said...

Cool to see WORLD BURNS TO DEATH on your playlist! Love those guys, even back when they were called SCORCHED EARTH they crushed!