Sunday, 21 February 2016

Alphabetical Discovery - Week C, Day Two: Colosseum

Colosseum - Photo

Colosseum's funeral-doom sound is intensely dreamlike and oddly comforting at times; it dwells in despair with its slow dirge-like progressions but its ambient overlays are, at times, angelic, even soothing; 'Weathered',from their first album Chapter 1: Delirium (2007), is one such song. The ambient sounds move with a lightness that lifts the crunching slabs of guitar and the growls into an ethereal soundscape. There are dramatic orchestral elements - groups of violins, cellos, etc. - that truly forges a sense of grandeur. The majority of Colosseum's songs are long, reaching in to the double-digits, yet they never seem to lose focus or fizzle out; there is always something dragging you back in - an example of this, once again, in the closing minutes of the thirteen-minute 'Weathered' where the pace picks up: double bass drums rumble and riffs and solos burst from their languid states of despair into something more energetic as the orchestral continue to swirl and throb. Their sound is melancholic and forlorn with more than a fair share of beautiful pirouetting guitar leads and dense melodies. It's the sound of something emerging from a thick fog, entrancing and vexing as it's shadow creeps into light.  There are so many subtleties and variations weaving and seeping through each song, it's a true auditory experience.

The Finnish band disbanded in 2010 following the death of vocalist and guitarist Juhani Palomäki aged 32.Their third album, which was in the works before Palomaki's death, was released posthumously in 2007, titled Chapter 3: Parasomnia. Their three albums are interconnected, each a progressive chapter, each centering themes of desolation inside a Lovercraftian and Sumerian mythological world. It's terribly sad for anyone to die so young; it's particularly sad to see such an interesting band stopped at their prime.  

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