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Hebosagil - Colossal (4/10) - Finland - 2008

Genre: Doom Metal / Stoner Doom
Label: Kaos Kontrol
Playing time: 43:26
Band homepage: Hebosagil

Tracklist:

  1. Big Sun
  2. Constant Danger
  3. Summoning
  4. River
  5. Primevil Terror
  6. Cosmic
  7. Death
Hebosagil - Colossal

When it comes to films I generally tend to prefer substantial set-up and exposition to near constant car chases and explosions. With music (especially Metal), however, it is much different. When the notes start spilling from my speakers I prefer it to maul me over like a runaway 18-wheeler. A song should come, see, and conquer, you know Ė veni vidi vici. Call me a lazy listener if you must but when a song consists of nothing more than two or three power chord strums and trudges along at a snails pace then Iím just not interested, end of story. Guess where Iím going with this review...

OK, Iíll give this US act props for creating a hugely bad-ass guitar sound and a very bleak, suffocating atmosphere. These hulking riffs could level small cities with consummate ease, let me tell you. Yep, the album title is very appropriate, as this album just sounds colossal. Why am I still not that thrilled by it then? Hmm, maybe itís because these seven songs all sound the same Ė trust me, the first song sounds just like the last and all those in between. The vocals, although fittingly serrated and abrasive, also doesnít carry any tangible sense of emotion, while all the bass and drums are completely drowned out by the drone of the guitars. They do manage to generate a solid groove here and there (ďConstant DangerĒ), and the occasional solo rocks out in pure 70s fashion (ďBig SunĒ), but nothing ever really caused me to sit up and take notice. It just trudges along at the same pace and by the fourth track the band had already lost me. Oh, and why on Godís green earth do so many of these songs just stop midway through only to resume a few seconds later?! I still donít know whether this is some form of anti-piracy technique or whether my copy is faulty.

Look, Doom fans (and Stoner Rock aficionados) will probably find much to enjoy here. Itís raw, messy, and the otherworldly crushing atmosphere they evoke can easily fill a room and give the listener the impression that he/she will be swallowed up at any given second. Atmosphere-wise this thing kills; songwriting-wise this leaves a lot to be desired. It is essentially one song spread out over 43 minutes, with little along the road to help elevate it beyond downright boring. None of these songs have the class of REVEREND BIZARRE, the melancholy aspect of MY DYING BRIDE, or the utterly creepy vibe of MOSS. This is strictly second-rate fare, and Iím not impressed. My love/hare relationship with Doom continues unabated then...

(Online August 14, 2008)

Neil Pretorius



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