Written by: MBC on 23/10/2014 15:23:43

Just little over a year after the release of their incredible debut full length “Time & Eternal”, South Dakota-based hardcore quartet Colossus are back with yet another great album entitled “Badlands”, which was released last month on Facedown Records. The band continues with the super heavy hardcore from their last release, but has changed its sound a bit to focus further on the brutal beatdown rythms that were also a big part of the band’s song writing on “Time & Eternal”, but now even more so.

Colossus’ approach this time around is a little less technical and progressive and they have pretty much abandoned the metalcore riffs that were present on the last album. Thus the overall presentation of “Badlands” is slower, more heavy and less melodic than before. However, this does not mean that the music is unrecognisable in relation to previous material, far from it. This is still very much Colossus: A talented and heavy beast of a hardcore band that knows how to create a thick and sinister atmosphere for the listener. This is for instance the case on the album’s first single and second track “Demons”. The song tells the tale of a man tortured by inner demons that tell him to do self-destructive things. Although definitely heavy, it actually stands as one of the less interesting and more repetitive tracks on the album, which luckily provides much stronger songs later on.

“Outcast” features Daniel McWhorter from Gideon on guest vocals and is a definite album highlight. The song is an angry beatdown anthem about being hated and judged for what you believe in. The dynamics between the slow and mid tempo riffs are great and McWhorter’s hoarse, mid-range scream harmonises perfectly with Colossus vocalist Alex Gutzmer’s more brutal, guttural delivery. On “Worthless” the band goes into a previously unvisited musical direction with more of a melodic hardcore approach ala Hundredth or The Ghost Inside. It definitely comes as a surprise and initially feels a little out of place, but after several times of listening through the album it becomes clear that it actually fits really well as a contrast to the abundance of heavier tracks. This direction is revisited on album closer “Nicotine”, which has an amazing, almost clean chorus and stands as one of the strongest songs on the album.

The reason why the album does not grade higher is that it simply is not quite as strong as its predecessor. Colossus have changed their direction from more of technical, progressive form of hardcore to a more simple, straightforward approach, which is somewhat of a shame. Although still great, “Badlands” in the end does not feel quite as unique as the amazing “Time & Eternal”, but should definitely still be checked out by any fan of heavy hardcore.

Download: Outcast, Worthless, Shades Of Gray, Downcast Eyes, Nicotine
For the fans of: Those Who Fear, A Plea For Purging, Your Memorial, This Or The Apocalypse, Mouth Of The South
Listen: Facebook

Release date 16.09.2014

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