What happens when you take members of the bands, Swarm Of Arrows, Wizard Eye, and Meatplow? You get a brand of heavy Sludge Metal that sounds like it was ripped straight out of the bayous and swamps of southern Louisiana. What you get is the super heavy trio known as Kolossor.
Their debut album, “Crown Of Horns”, pulls absolutely no punches in it’s quest to shove your face in the dirt, and curb stomp you into the nearest uprooted tree stump. The opening track, Bugbear’s Last Stand, starts off with just a couple seconds of feedback, before coming in with a riff that alternates between ripping your face off, and then slowing down so you can see it get stomped on. Right away, you can hear influences from such New Orleans based bands such as Crowbar, EyeHateGod, Acid Bath and Down.
Tempest starts off with another fast/slow/stop style riff. As heavy as this bands sound is, it somehow feels like the bass gets lost in the mix very easily, and this song is a prime example of that. This song does possess one of the finer points of the album, right around the 3 minute 30 second mark. What we are treated to is a melodic section where the guitar starts playing cleanly, the bass is clearly heard, all of this played over an almost tribal like drum pattern, that really catches the listener off guard.
Wall Of Sleep decides to slow things down bit, with some intermittent static at the start, as the drums slowly build up with another tribal-like pattern. This is followed by the bass, playing with an unusual effect that I am not quite familiar with. This is one of those songs where the singer really channels his inner Kirk Windstein from Crowbar, with a sort of harsh shouting voice that tries to be a bit clean at the same time.
In The Name Of Traitors continues with the New Orleans sludge feel. That’s a pretty good way to describe this entire album, really. About one minute into this track, this song really reminds me of Empty Room by Crowbar, and I’m not sure why. It could be the sound, and vocal pattern that comes in during this part. While this does have a heavy Crowbar influence, I could easily make comparisons to some early Mastodon tracks, with his heavy, distorted guitars, heavy, slow groove, and shouted vocals.
Towards the end of the album, we are treated the pleasant surprise of Keeper Of Flame. This track is decidedly slower than the rest, which is a nice switch up, and breaks up the monotonous of the other tracks here. This is also a track where I feel that the bass really shines through the massive wall of sound that we have been treated to in the 35 minutes prior.
Overall, Kolossor know what sound they’re going for, and they know exactly what they have to do achieve it. Shouted vocals, a wall of guitars (albeit just one guitar player), fantastic drumming throughout, and a heavy bass that comes in and out of the mix, there’s nothing about this record that doesn’t sound like it should have come straight out of the swamps of Louisiana, and not New Jersey.
While Kolossor doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, they’re definitely not doing anything that can hurt it either. If you’re into super heavy Sludge Metal, you’ll most likely not be disappointed with this album.