Lo-Pan
Colossus


4.3
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher EMERITUS
October 5th, 2014 | 39 replies


Release Date: 10/07/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lo-Pan remain in strong form on their fourth album, performing heavy rock that's at once infectious and distinctly ambitious.

Colossus is a perfect name for a sludge metal album as it evokes the obsession with the massive that's rightfully associated with the genre. The ultra-heavy fourth album of Columbus luminaries Lo-Pan certainly lives up to its title, bludgeoning the listener with a cavalcade of gargantuan riffs from the ground up. This is the same formula that made their previous release Salvador so engrossing. The might of sludge metal is imbued with progressive tendencies and memorable melodies. In consequence, the quartet tread a fine line between the technicality of Tool and the sheer riff-power of Swedish stoner rock heavyweights Dozer, while succumbing to both bands' penchant for infectious motifs.

The playing on Colossus is intuitive and totally indicative of musicians who have worked together for a long period of time. Guitarist Brian Fristoe finds a comfortable middle ground between danceable bluesy riffs and towering grooves, whereas the syncopated bass lines of Scott Thompson and precise, impeccably timed drumming of J.Bartz provide intricate, yet sturdy foundations. However, it's Jeff Martin's booming vocals that lend the record its singularity. There's immense power in his voice, but also space for vulnerability that's rather uncommon for the genre driven by machismo. Even though some of his vocal lines may be plenty complex, he has a strong command of melody, creating an exceptional dynamic between brutality and hooks.

While Lo-Pan hardly ever venture beyond their comfort zone here, the songwriting is so potent that it makes up for the album's lack of reinvention. The quartet still needlessly prolong their songs at times. Case in point, opener 'Regulus' would work much better if it was one minute shorter. However, most tracks succeed because they are so ingeniously written. 'Marathon Man' is fittingly the longest cut on here: its length is justified since the outfit churn out captivating transitions and Martin delivers not one, but two poignant refrains. 'Vox' hints at Torche with its heavenly guitar licks and smooth vocal harmonies while still retaining stomping riffage. The brooding 'Eastern Seas' is the most doom-oriented track on the album, yet it manages to throw a curve with Tool-echoing labyrinthine progressions in the end. The record finishes triumphantly with 'The Duke' which may be Lo-Pan's finest tune to date. Bolstered by Martin's flexible vocals and Fristoe's dazzling solo, the song sounds at once supremely dynamic and inspirational, showcasing the quartet reaching their full potential.

Colossus is not a massive leap from what the group released before, nor was such vaulting progression needed. Instead, the record provides a concise snapshot of what Lo-Pan are about: no-frills heavy rock that glitters with powerful melodies. Still the quartet manage to outweigh their peers, performing music that's distinctly ambitious and complex. They sound refreshing on the grounds of top-notch musicianship and fluid shifts through the gears, but ultimately it's Jeff Martin's commanding vocal performance that turns Colossus into an essential heavy rock album.




Recent reviews by this author
Hawk Eyes Everything Is FineWildbirds and Peacedrums Rhythm
Dope Body LiferSparky Humanimation
Kimbra The Golden EchoDog Fashion Disco Sweet Nothings
user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SharkTooth
October 5th 2014


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I haven't seen a Greg Fisher review in a while,

even better it's for a band I've been meaning to check out

greg84
Emeritus
October 5th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

that's because I haven't written anything for too long



this album is a blast

Digging: St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

SharkTooth
October 5th 2014


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I bet it is man!

Cactupuss
October 5th 2014


52 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I need to listen to this, I found most of their last album boring though

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2014


4408 Comments


Greg's back! Yay! This might actually be good.

SharkTooth
October 5th 2014


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

prob is

SharkTooth
October 5th 2014


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

found a stream!!!

http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/10/02/exclusive-album-stream-lo-pans-heavy-hooky-colossus/

SharkTooth
October 5th 2014


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

These guys sound like a combination of the riffs from Truckfighters with the vocals of early

Fu-Manchu, and there's nothing bad about that combination whatsoever

tempest--
October 6th 2014


20535 Comments


a 4.3 stoner rock greg review, heck yes

greg84
Emeritus
October 6th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Thanks guys. I got a prom copy of this a couple of weeks ago and have listened to it a lot ever since. Definitely needs some time to sink in, but it's worth the effort.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2014


4369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought you weren't that fond of this album haha. Cool to see it's this good, I'll check it out today.

Digging: Carbon Based Lifeforms - Derelicts

ProjectFreak
October 6th 2014


2089 Comments


Sometimes I can just see a review featured and, without knowing a thing about the band, just know "That's going to be a Greg Fisher review."

greg84
Emeritus
October 6th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I wonder who told you that, Raul. ;)



It's a good thing, Freak. Isn't it?

SharkTooth
October 6th 2014


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sometimes I can just see a review featured and, without knowing a thing about the band, just know "That's going to be a Greg Fisher review."

lol I have trouble telling if it's gonna be Greg Fisher or Raul Stanciu

Nagrarok
October 6th 2014


8546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I rather much enjoyed Salvador a few years back. I haven't given too much attention to this year's new album thus far, but this is one I'll definitely give a listen. Good to see you're still at it greg.

greg84
Emeritus
October 6th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Great to hear from you Nagrarok. Long time no see. If you'd dug Salvador back in the day, I'm sure you'd like this one. It's not very different, but still awesome.

Jethro42
October 6th 2014


15000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If the band use the Salvador's formula, I have to give this a spin.

greg84
Emeritus
October 6th 2014


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Yes, you do. Let the power of riff compel you.

Jethro42
October 6th 2014


15000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

m/

Mad.
October 6th 2014


4674 Comments


Great review Greg, this looks good - last one was good.

"Lo-Pan hardly ever venture beyond their comfort zone here"

That's what I was hoping they wouldn't do...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy