Review Summary: Finnish funeral doom. From Finland.
Colosseum’s debut, Chapter 1: Delirium
, is a remarkably strong debut album; having formed only in 2006, the Finnish band released a demo before blasting out Delirium
, and a Chapter 2 is due out in the coming months. Very much in the vein of fellow countrymen Shape of Despair, Colosseum create a fluid and enveloping wall of sound through a fusion of slow guitars and overwhelming synth. Sparks of aggression do push up against the veil of synth, but on the whole, the album has a very melodic feel to it; although the dynamics of the album do not change much over its course, there is innovation to the extent that this doesn’t become monotonous in the least. Being funeral doom, you can expect tempos to be rather slow, but Colosseum shift between various moods and speeds with a great ease, and really make Delirium
an exciting listen. Moments like the end of ‘Weathered’, where the pace quickens and climaxes the song, are in abundance, and contribute to the album’s flow. It would be hard to pin down a single part of the album as its driving force; certain parts are completely guitar driven, while the synth is simply there for effect, in others the guitars meld away into the ambience and the synth produces the melody that pushes the album’s surge. Either way, the band pulls it off with a master’s stroke, proving yet again that the Finns do it best.
The vocals are very much in line with this style of funeral doom; variances in pitch are not common, and the vocals have a distinct ethereal feel about them, helping them dissolve into the album’s ambience. It’s not hard to completely screw up an album when you’re trying to create this particular aura; bands like Shape of Despair and Colosseum definitely achieve it with satisfying results, but bands like Tyranny prove that it’s very easy to become misguided and create a terrible album. An album needs to refrain from becoming a single wall of fuzzy everything, encompassing vocals, guitars and synth into a single sound; in most instances albums like these are complete failures. On Delirium
, as much as the various components mesh together, there is still a distinct separation; picking out the different parts is easy to do. A certain portion of credit can be given to the production, as its clarity is excellent, but it’s also due to the band’s attention to detail, and their persistence in making sure the album does not fall into a monotone. The guitar lines in ‘Aesthetics for the Grotesque’, or the keys in ‘Saturnine Vastness’ and other parts of the album, are but a few examples of the album’s intricacy, and it’s the little things like these that sets Delirium
aside from other funeral doom bands. Highly recommended.