Colosseum - Chapter 1: Delirium
Firebox Records
Funeral Darkwave Atmospheric Doom
6 songs (63'58")
Release year: 2007
Firebox Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Metal or not, many of us have a connection with one record that is simply inexplicable. For me one such record is Yearning’s debut With Tragedies Adorned. I have been a fan of that band ever since With Tragedies Adorned hit my listening senses, giving me almost a physical pleasure and providing me with an emotional crutch for years to come. I am yet to acquire and listen to Yearning’s latest Merging into Landscapes, which I know will be a perfect record for this fall season. Throughout its existence, however, Yearning has evolved miles, Frore Meadow and Evershade sounding little like With Tragedies Adorned, dipping less and less into the doom pool. As if reading my mind, and more certainly based on his own life experiences, Juhani Palomaki, the mastermind of Yearning, has decided to reconnect with his darker side, giving birth to Colosseum. Promisingly titled, at least in terms of future continued action, Chapter 1: Delirium, was recently released on Finnish masters-of-all-things-doom Firebox label.

Whatever the demons possessed Juhani, but Colosseum sees him returning to slow, physical, almost bruising brand of funeral doom. Long songs, lumbering rhythms, Delirium has all trademarks of the genre. Yet as much as Juhani’s riffs are progressions of classical music chords, the album is a winner because of its darkwave atmospheric ambiance. The penetrating wall-of-sound synthesizers are responsible for mood creation ranging from pure frost to outright tragedy.

The Gate of Adar is an entrance into the Delirium world, dissonant diverging dreadful statement which sets the tone. Corridors of Desolation lays off dissonance and brings out that funereal tunefulness which permeated With Tragedies Adorned. Acoustic guitar touches are like quick kisses ripped off the icy lips and distant clean chorus is the sound of souls departing. The synth end of this composition is unexpectedly uplifting, just like the guitar lead giving a promise of salvation after the oppressingly crushing first half of the title track.

As the slow songs pour out, the listener has multiple chances to come up with the appropriate personal association. For me, simultaneously tragic and triumphant beginning of Saturnine Vastness, with accents in all the right places, collapses into the space emptiness, continuing its journey in a much more pacified version. On the other hand, Aesthetics of the Grotesque has an atmosphere of the creepy abandoned marionette theater, with its guitars sounding like a broken music-box and cymbals going through repeated mechanical crushes. Waltz-like melody inflections of Weathered periodically grow cathartic, however the composition ends with a total internal lament. Above, through and way beneath all of these songs resides the voice of Juhani Palomaki, always starting at the gravely bottom and rising with chestborn hisses.

Those who squirm in the chair impatiently waiting the slow snare’s next hit should avoid Colosseum like plague. The fans of the funeral doom will find a lot to like here. The album has distinct genre features which made them the adepts in the first place, but Mr. Palomaki goes even further with the atmospherics found on lesser releases.

Killing Songs :
Corridors of Desolation, Weathered, Delirium
Alex quoted 85 / 100
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