(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
Southern New Jersey’s primordial swamp dwellers, KOLOSSOR, return with a rampage on their new, just-released debut full length, “Crown Of Horns“.
This 10-song sledgehammer of studio-bred endeavor dropped like a dead cadaver from Sludgelord Records on April 6th. Like any spent corpse, the sonic assault captured on the album provides grotesquely deliberate heaviness, sonic dead weight if you will, but wonderfully such!
KOLOSSOR careened into the underground music scene with their three song self-titled EP in 2017, the songs from which are part of this album. Those tracks,”Bugbear’s Last Stand“, “Pillars” and “Scourge“, provided us all a nice intro to the band but now, we’re ready for a full on relationship with “Crown Of Horns“.
The KOLOSSOR trio – Greg Frisenda (Guitars, Lead Vocals), Jay Barringer (Bass, Backing Vocals) and Jerry Arsenault (Drums, Percussion, Sounds) – really open up the throttle on this long-player. The guys further explore the complexities of groove-fueled density to be sure, yet do so with injections of melodic elements where they melt genre dividers.
The first such example of that immediately coming to mind are the magnificent torrents of “Tempest“, one of my favorite cuts. It powers off the line with rapid-fire surety, quickly finding its way into some deep rhythmic ruts that yield an almost hypnotic-like pull.
As we know and love, KOLOSSOR keep true to their aspects of sludge and aggression but are not afraid to step squarely into other fields and take them over. The tribal-like drumming of “Wall Of Sleep” or the battering power doom of “In The Name Of Traitors” are so beyond intense they become unforgettable.
There are moments where this thermonuclear threesome ignite with incendiary blazing on such selections as “The Falling Wreckage” and “Thunder Helm“. The latter is a driving, propelling song with tinges of proto metal experimentation ala Voivod or Godflesh.
There are two stand-out numbers that I must make mention of, first is the Crowbar-ian powerhouse “Keeper Of Flame“. A doomy-yet-melodically toned riff pushes this behemoth ever forward while the vocals get quite raw and aggro, bordering on death metal at certain points.
Second is the album-ending, psyche-augmented space metal of “Planet Hunter” which, again, brings to (my) mind Voivod. The spiraling rhythms and chainsaw guitar are incredibly well-suited for the tumultuous flow within this slab of space sludge.
My faith in KOLOSSOR has once again stood up to inspection and dissection both. The belief I found in the band with last year’s S/T EP has now been exponentially reinforced, bolstered even, with their “Crown Of Horns” full-length. The band are forging their way forward here, displaying growth, nay, expansion in the sheer force of their will and battering sonics.
See if you can withstand the band’s “Crown Of Horns” via the streaming embed we have included or head direct to the source HERE where you can purchase the album.