Colobar: Behind The Veil Of Oblivion

Behind The Veil Of Oblivion is one of those unexpected gems which blow preconceived thoughts and expectations right out of the water. The album from rock band Colobar is a thrilling and surprising burst of vibrant creativity and stirring imagination. Combining a heady mix of heavy metal and classic hard rock, two flavours which generally inspires no real enthusiasm here, with progressive rock, jazz, and melodic metal, the band has created an album to intrigue, surprise, and most of all thoroughly satisfy.

Colobar is the brainchild and creation of Bulgarian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Angel Angelov. With a background of playing in metal bands he decided in 2009 to bring his ideas and music into the creation of his own album. Once having recorded much of the release he brought in additional talent to expand the songs to their fullness. Vocally Angelov brought in Carl Sentence (Persian Risk, Krokus, Don Airey and Friends) to take the lead parts, a decision which definitely ensured an impressive lure into the rich sounds of the songs. Additionally the acclaimed Bulgarian guitarist Konstantin Jambazov added bass parts and there were contributions from Emil Kosturkov (keys),   Kiril Kirilov piano and keys, and Radoslav Todorov (piano).

Released through Spectastral Records, the album begins with the relatively straight forward A Change Of The Ages. It rushes for the ear from the first note pressing it with fresh riffs, eager rhythms, and a teasing guitar as indistinct presences whisper in the background. Slowing its pace the song then stands tall with formidable power whilst stirring melodic weaves light up the senses behind the fine vocals of Sentence. With just hints of things to come on the album the track is an incessant surge of irresistible sounds and though it is not the most groundbreaking it is unbridled fun.

The title track openly surprises from its atmospheric heated intro and is a complete contrast to its predecessor. With a mesmeric grace and hearty piano alongside Sentance, the song is a breath of pure imagination. Reaching a melodic ambient plateau, muscular riffs take over to stand by the side of the great vocal harmonies and fleeting melodic scythes of guitar. There is a similarity to the song which offers warmth but creatively it is wonderfully unique and adventurous through its near ten minutes. Along the journey we are treated to glorious jazz inspired keys which remind of The Stranglers, primal rhythms, and incendiary melodic magnificence. The track twists and writhes with ingenuity and the flames of diverse influences all seamlessly brought into a feast of invention. At one point the song almost grinds to a stop as an ambient folk air pervades the scene but again as the song returns to its rock charge it is successfully gratifying.

Songs like the excellent dramatic Timeline with its colourful ethnic folk caresses nestling perfectly amongst the inciteful progressive metal energy, Listen another track showing the skill of Angelov in combining heavy and light textures into a stunning result, and Secrets continue the distinct pleasuring of the senses. The last of these from its initial feisty joyful charge is a perpetual flow of melodic jazz toned keys, persistently pushing riffs, and sparking showers of guitar creativity. Once more the vocals of Sentence add an expressive majesty to the song, undeniably one of the best rock vocalists around right now.

The album closes with two more excellent examples of invention and imagination. Starting with another inspiring emotive atmosphere, The Way Out explores the senses with an assault of belligerent riffs aided by the prowling confrontational hypnotic bass. Speared by ever sparkling and dazzling keys the track makes one wonder whether if Oingo Boingo had been a metal band they might have sounded like this, the continual and evolving explosion of melodic ideas and craft similar in its composing. Last song Can’t Feel is Sentence at his best, the song allowing him to unveil his full range and expressive ability. The song is a touching and again fully expressive piece which leaves one smiling within and on the outside.

Behind The Veil Of Oblivion is a treat for all melodic rock fans, diverse and beautifully presented the album is one of the most enjoyable and unique so far this year, Angel Angelov and Colobar one of the most creative.

Ringmaster 21/06/2012

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