Colosso is as the name suggests: something of an immense and leviathan nature. It’s the inevitable being that despite its magnitude, manages to evade your eyes time and time again. Yet once encountered and visible, what occurs is a compulsive reaction to stay fixated on it, to run towards it and to dive deep into its murky lap. There is no warmth in that lap, but something far greater that simply has to be seen, heard and felt to understand. I’ve been following that equivocal, but distinct creature for a longer time than anything else. When the opportunity to drag that thing before your collective perception arose, there was no need to ponder it any further.

The band was formed in 2011 in Portugal by its current sole member and the powerhouse behind it all, Max Tomé. All the quotes later in this article are also by him alone, obviously. Being the product of only one source of individual creativity has shifted the key points of Colosso‘s output throughout the years quite a bit. This keeps the project alive and provides a certain kind of freshness and the ability to take risks one couldn’t take if there were constantly a group of other people involved. The lack of fuming mouths surely has its disadvantages in the touring and ‘artistic hive mind’ end of things, but if you’re able to pull all of this off by yourself, why wouldn’t you?
Colosso is the kind of a band that makes me feel like a little kid all over again. I’m not going to argue with anyone about its uniqueness or significance in the grand scheme of things, as that’s completely unnecessary. Just fill the empty space between your ears with this personal blend of progressive and groovy death metal, and lighten up a bit.

‘The main reason behind starting Colosso was that I wanted to make a full album. Up until 2011 I played in countless bands, but never recorded a full album, only demos and EPs… So I thought; ‘I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs for more than 15 years now, and I haven’t recorded a single album… it’s about time to get to it!’

I picked a song I recorded in 2010 and started writing the rest of
Abrasive Peace from there on. The song order you see on that record is the actual order the songs were written, and I guess that’s why it feels as a one track experience. By March 2011 I had the first instrumental demo of the debut finished and started thinking of a drummer to perform it. It wouldn’t be an easy task, since the drums on that record are insanely hard, so I contacted Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth, Soilwork) and surprisingly he enjoyed the album and was available! A year passed and in 2012 the album was finally ready to be released.’
Max also addressed why the members have changed drastically and why Colosso has repeatedly returned into a one-man form:
‘I tried to form a full band to record and perform the songs, but we came to the conclusion we wanted different things. From my perspective, I want/wanted to write and record songs and albums. That’s what gives me the most pleasure in music. I currently couldn’t care less about trying to entertain people, a.k.a. doing live shows and all that stuff. Unfortunately to me, most musicians want to play live and I guess the full band thing didn’t work for that reason, as we rarely did a live show. That being said, I like to work with other people in the recording and composing process, so I’ve tried to have different guests on each record after Obnoxious.‘

Minor stylistic tweaks and shifts tend to keep a project alive. While Colosso‘s first album Abrasive Peace was firmly seated in progressive metal, the following releases, Thallium and Foregone Semblances, were thrashier, mostly instrumental, almost even djent influenced EPs. The mentioned, latest album with a full line-up Obnoxious is somewhat of a mix and match in between with tech-death influences and spotless production, reaching to the darker corner with more visceral, violent, and serious compositions. Last year’s Rebirth is a more direct death metal record with an organic and a tad muddier atmosphere, and also introduces the usage of clean vocals. While the manning surely affects the outcome, all these releases are tied together with Max’s signature writing style and aesthetic, even if you had to look for it for a moment.
‘The style change is something that comes both naturally and by a thought process. With the two EPs succeeding Abrasive Peace (Thallium and Foregone Semblances), it basically was me recovering some old songs I liked and thinking ‘why not record these the proper way and release them as Colosso?‘ The other members thought it was a good idea and we did it. We were also evolving as a band/team and experimented with lots of stuff on those days – mainly tunings and extra strings on guitars. Then we wrote and recorded Obnoxious with a new singer, and I remember talking with the rest of the guys saying I specifically wanted to write a darker album… both musically and lyrically.‘

Just like their style, Colosso‘s lyrical approach has also evolved over time. Abrasive Peace focused mainly on personal notions and explored the human constraints and limitations we all have, hence being easy to approach and to identify with. The EPs remained pretty much in the same territory, but Obnoxious threw in a lot of ugliness in terms of societal and political criticism mixed with the said personal views, presenting a darker form of the band. Rebirth then tightened the screws even more, diving deeper into the ideals of nothingness, intimate struggles, and the deconstruction of the essence of self. Serving the same purpose, the score behind these thoughts have turned more serious, grim, and bleak along the way.
‘On the yet to be released Apocalypse EP there’s a concept about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, where each track represents a Horseman. Something I wanted to do since the debut, and only now I got the time/mindset to do. I’m currently also writing another album which is based on the following thought by Steven Wright: ‘I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it.‘‘
Not to get too caught up in the deep and depressing end, Colosso‘s main goals contrast all of this quite a bit. The driving force behind the project is to have fun, to find beauty and joy amidst writing and releasing music. There’s no denying the fact that self-expression has the capability of liberating and relieving both the artist and their audience, and that in itself, at least to me, is the meaning of all art.

Coming into terms with its history, the future is also looking brighter than ever for the band. The aforementioned new EP Apocalypse will be released later this year through Transcending Obscurity Records, and features several guest appearances to look forward to. The writing process for their fourth album has also already begun, with the objective of releasing it during the second half of next year. Colosso has been gliding under the radar for almost a decade now, and that’s something that I personally hope would radically change in the very near future. There’s not a single reason to keep music like this hidden away, unplugged from the world.

Colosso is:

Max Tomé

Oh, and make sure to follow Colosso on Facebook and make yourself familiar with their music either on Bandcamp or Spotify.

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