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Behind The Sun - 95%

drfell, March 12th, 2013

Koloss has an otherworldly bleakness about it, like a deserted planet, with ragged mountain ranges that stretch as far as the eye can see, endless terrains of black brown rock and dust storms that turn the sun to a hovering, ghostly coin. Some people seem to view this feeling of bleakness as a 'boring' element that runs through the album, but I love that. I like the minimalism, the feeling of emptiness; it creates a sensation of space within and around the songs. Demiurge is a good example of this, with its eerie, ambient soundscapes (it grows into something quite sinister for me, cold and chilling towards the climax, which of course I adore) and the multi-layered, slow burning beauty of Behind The Sun. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion sounds barren and dry until it floods into colour at 3:48 with those long, disquieting tunnels of guitar sound that seem to take us slowly, creeping into points of space. The Last Vigil takes this feeling of space into another dimension, an ethereal, haunting place full of forbidden geometry and strange, bleeding light.

Koloss is intricate, dense and heavy. I love the drumming patterns on Marrow and Swarm and the way the twin guitar riffs slide away from each other like magnets on Marrow. The way the guitar notes on The Demon's Name Is Surveillance build and bend into something high, wild and intense, penetrating and peering into your mind like snaking, living cameras, and how Do Not Look Down seems to flow into a completely different song at exactly the 3:00 minute mark. The way the guitar (it sounds like a weird sliding backwards chord with bending strings) seems to pull my stomach muscles down at 0:18 (there are two more during the song, deliciously heavy, they occur at 1:06 and 3:46) on I Am Colossus, it feels exquisite, like falling through a trapdoor. I love the ascending chromatic riff during the chorus and the lead solo towards the end is beautifully-placed, having a 'siren-esque' quality to it, a little like the melody (or rather the atmosphere) you hear during Corridor Of Chameleons (at 2:02 and 3:55) from Chaosphere. The Demon's Name Is Surveillance has this siren-esque quality as well towards the end section at 3:30. You can hear elements of Chaosphere and Obzen throughout the album and for that matter, elements of Nothing and Catch 33.

Koloss is an alien landscape. Beams of sunlight flicker in broken shafts on that black-brown surface. At certain angles, the light glints like gold upon those great stones. It is full of twists and turns like some leviathan puzzle box. What you find inside depends on how deeply you want to go into that box.

Koloss. Beautiful. Bleak. Barren. Alien.