Colosso in name and colossus in sound, the one man project is an immense and staggering confrontation of inventive and adventurous death metal as evidenced by debut album Abrasive Peace. Veined with flames of dramatic and varied genres inspired sounds and dynamism which leaves exhaustion as one of its potent legacies, the release is a thrilling and hungry destructive treat which marks this Portuguese band as a formidable contender, if not now undoubtedly in the future, in the ring graced by established death metal giants.
The Oporto based project is the solo invention of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Max Tomé which he began in 2011 with the initial idea to write a death metal album where many other influences and soundscapes would fit in, something successfully achieved it has to be said with the album. In the March of that year Tomé invited Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve, Devin Townsend, Jeff Loomis) to play drums for the album which he agreed, the album itself going on to be mixed and mastered by Paulo Lopes. Originally a limited self-released encounter physically and as a download last year, the album has been picked up for another deserved wider venture into the world by Canadian underground label Mulligore Production. Also available with Peaceful Abrasiveness, an instrumental version of the release, the album is a stunning and invigorating bruising upon the senses with the fullest of rewards and satisfaction in tow.
The diverse flavour and enterprise of the album comes with the influence of, in Tomé’s words “Musically, this album is the sum of four of my favourite bands: Hate Eternal, Decapitated, Meshuggah and Devin Townsend” and “Lyrically, Abrasive Peace focuses on several themes, such as the butterfly effect, the search for perfection, or the inner need to disconnect from everything and just forget about the world.” The depths and textures of both aspects are as captivating as the sonic and brutal onslaught of intensity which swamps the ear and beyond into full and willing capitulation. It is a monstrous ravaging from start to finish but loaded with moments of almost tenderness and understanding restraint which seduces the passions further, though ultimately the predator instinct of the release and songs always has its sadistic way.
The starting electro caress of opener Anthem To Chaos initially raise eyebrows but once joined by a tirade of rhythmic brilliance and rapacious riffing it becomes with the melodic call of the guitar sparking the atmosphere, a warm and intriguing temptation. The vocals of Tomé are savage and uncompromising yet like the corrosive breath of the attack elsewhere has a lure to its violence which falls into perfect place and persuasion alongside the ever evolving soundscape of the track. The unbridled snarl of his bass again captivates individually whilst combining with all elements for an unrelenting expanse of creative and absorbing aural animosity and evocative imagination.
Like across the whole release, the first song leads straight into the following might of Demolish To Rebuild, a furnace of a track raging with vocals and rhythmic malevolence wrapping in a wonderfully acidic and melodic narrative. From the initial fire the track is a deliciously seductive aural tale of skilfully crafted beauty and provocative ambience which transports the listener to a place of safety though with its own teasing shadows before a final blaze of aggressive vehemence ravages all.
Through the intensive and grievous Pattern Of Disconnection and The Epiphany, the single from the album, the release chews on the already set in wounds with fascination and enterprise, the first with a certain bestial intent but reined with a toxic groove which niggles yet ignites the purest ardour whilst the second of the two tracks unleashes a blistering technical havoc which Meshuggah would greedily accept as their own and a sonic lancing from the guitar which spreads and cages the senses like a steel web.
Track by track the album continues to hold the passions tightly in its invention and craft, In Turmoil and Thou Shall Never Be Benevolent feverishly gnawing at the senses and emotions with their own unique carnivorous appetites whilst Headless Endures uncages a rhythmic and murderous frenzy which leaves molten psyche bubbling with contentment.
The closing Unplugged From The World explores and exploits thoughts and emotions for a final triumphant tempest of imaginative evocation and severe inventive agitation. It is the perfect summing up for the album with the drumming of Verbeuren constantly jaw dropping and exciting whilst Tomé unveils a wealth of thought, craft, and originality in his songwriting and musicianship that you cannot help suspecting he and Colosso will go on to truly major things. Abrasive Peace is an album which takes time to reveal all its glories, making every encounter fresh and adventurous, but equally breeds a sure appetite from the first moment it venomously licks the ear, and simply is a must check out album.
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