Though they have been around since 2011, I must admit that ‘Obnoxious’ is my first exposure to Portugal’s Colosso. Due out on September 9th as an independent release, the death metal band delivers a heavy hitting dose of down-tuned riffs and blasting drums with an experimental slant. Formed as the solo project of Max Tomé before turning into a full band, it’s clear even from this first exposure that the group has spent their time crafting a sound that has familiar elements while still branching out enough to capture a feel of its own. Today we’re excited to bring you an exclusive premiere of the song To Purify, the seventh song on the album.
Each of the tracks on ‘Obnoxious’ head off in different directions, but what’s consistent throughout the course of the album is crushing intensity and the darker atmosphere that Colosso is capable of generating. To Purify is a perfect example, and while it’s one of the arrangements that emphasize the heavier side of the material it still veers off towards some experimentation towards the end. What drew me in to this song initially was the tonality and bottom heavy riffs, that fall somewhere between Meshuggah and technical/progressive death metal. The crunchier riffing forms a dense wall that feels like it’s going to smash you into the floor, and the instrumentals fly by with precision and intensity that doesn’t let up for a second. Compared to the djent bands and others who have channeled some of that Meshuggah sound, Colosso remains rooted in death metal and uses these blasting layers to create a thick, almost suffocating atmosphere. At around the three quarter mark the band slows things down a bit and some melodies find their way into the mix, ultimately closing the song out with an eerie chill. These pushes towards outside elements that seep into each piece not only give off some experimental flourishes but also help the album to grab your attention.
The vocals skew towards the low end, with the lower growls dominating much of the material. Their overall pitch reminds me a bit more of melodic death metal and a little metalcore rather than the extreme gutturals that are typical in traditional death metal, but it suits the sound that Colosso is going for on ‘Obnoxious’ and avoids the grating, repetitive feel that can sometimes come with this particular range. Some back up screams that hit some higher pitches are added in to flesh things out at key moments, and while the performance could have easily dominated the instrumentation the band has managed to find that perfect balance between instrumentals and vocals that can be hard to maintain. Colosso hits hard in all aspects of their music, and their singer is up to the standard of all-out intensity the rest of the band has set.
Some of the other songs up the experimental and dissonant elements even further, but I think To Purify is a great example of how Colosso can deliver a more straightforward attack while still letting the dissonance and layers start to seep in. Whether they remind you of a bit of Meshuggah or Gorguts and that strain of progressive/technical death metal, Colosso still maintains enough of their own identity to be worth paying attention to. ‘Obnoxious’ is out September 9th and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp below, where three additional songs are available for preview.