Released: 2015, Killer Metal Records
Killer Metal Records has put together a combo of Colossus’s two most recent Eps. They are 2009’s DRUNK ON BLOOD and 2012’s THE SEPULCHER OF THE MIRROR WARLOCKS (now there’s a metal title!). Hailing from North Carolina, and virtually unknown outside of their home scene, Colossus plays a faithful and committed style of classic NWOBHM. Far from newcomers, the band formed in 2005 and now with a contract with Killer Metal Records, it is reasonable to expect a new full-length in the near future.
As expected, the overall album style is rooted in 80s era NWOBHM, drawing inspiration from the expected heavyweights of Saxon, Maiden, and the like. Galloping over hill and dale with harmonized guitars and decent vocals from Sean Buchanan, Colossus delivers a metallic authenticity peppered with technical flourishes. There is a noticeable increase in the complexity of the music starting with “Stoneburner”, the first tune from the second EP and “NIMH” which continues the increasing twists and rhythmic changes. Buchanan also seems more confident through the second half, belting out some truly high wails that should get an appreciative nod from lovers of Halford and Dickinson.
Thematically, the band draws much inspiration from fantasy and science fiction literature, with songs based on George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”, Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and even Fritz Leiber’s “Swords Against Death”, which has seen Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser out of print for quite some time (I thought I was the only one who knew who the hell they were!). Imbued throughout is a subtle punkiness to the songs, not surprising considering some of the members spent time in bands of the NC punk scene. Also making an appearance are some power metal inspired melodies on “The Last Stand of Miles Teg”. The rhythm section is tight, with the bass and drums locking into a number of driving sections that helps propel things along.
Ultimately, this is a positive compilation with decent production. The style is consistent, but at times lacks variety, and the songs are not always memorable. On the positive side, it is cool to see this style of music being played in the States, particularly North Carolina. All the talent and skills are there, so I am looking for a bold step forward on their future full-length with Killer Metal Records. Highly recommended for lovers of classic NWOBHM with a modern edge.