Released: 2016, Self-Released
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
After essentially operating as a one-man band for two albums, guitarist Max Tomé now has added enough members over the last two years to make Portugal's Colosso a genuine “band,” while dropping two more EPs along the way. Busy guy. With the addition of vocalist André Macedo, they comprise a quintet for album No. 3, Obnoxious.
Colosso bill themselves as “experimental death metal,” and while that may be a bit of stretch given their obvious Meshuggah influences, Obnoxious is still a more intriguing release than its title might let on. The band's sound is as dense as it is massive here, which, combined with Marcelo Aires' agile but mechanically precise drumming and Macedo's blunt-force bellow, does echo Meshuggah to a sometimes uncomfortable degree. But they don't allow themselves to get locked into any sort of rigid djent mode - at least not for every long, “To Purify” excepting - and prove to have a much wider sonic palette.
There's plenty of death metal brutality, technical metal dexterity, industrial might and even hints of post-metal here in the cascading riffs that punctuate a good number of the songs. Veering off into left field, “Seven Space Collisions” is a dub-style instrumental that doesn't seem to have much purpose, other than to provide a break in the action – ditto the “Neutropics Remix” remix of the opening track “In Memoriam” that closes the album out. There's even a hint of jazz and blues as “As Resonance” segues into “Soaring Waters,” though that too is an aberration as the bulk of both songs is quite pummeling.
And the variety, not to mention an effective mixture of tempos, keeps things moving and doesn't allow Obnoxious to settle into a rut, almost in defiance of its enormous heaviness. The blast-beaty battery of the aptly titled “The Unrepentant,” the Gojira-like heft of “A Noxious Reflection” and the hooky thrum of “Sentience” or “Of Hollow Judgements” ensure that this never becomes a leaden affair.
With Colosso really just beginning to gel, now that the lineup seems to finally have been fully fleshed out, they could really be someone to watch down the road. They've got a sound that out-muscles a lot of other heavy bands, now they've just got to make it more of their own.