Genre: rock, alternative, ambient, post-metal, post-rock
Band introduction: Colaris is a 3 piece post rock band from Pirmasens, Germany. They play a blend of progressive rock and combine it with ambient music and psychedelic tunes. All songs are strongly influenced by personal impressions and issues – Taken from http://www.revolvermanrecords.de
1st Listen: Not quite what I expected, to be honest. I had heard that these guys were post metal and I assumed that I would get lots of heavy riffage and perhaps some harsh vocals. Not today! These guys do have post-metal elements, but it is mostly ambient and chilled out post-rock. It caught me off guard so I’m having some trouble digesting it!
It does sound good, but the tempo of the album is generally pretty similar so it is missing out on certain dynamics that would bring it alive. That’s not to say that the ideas being utilised are bad. There are some really strong moments. Actually the second half of the album actually does step it up a notch and it seems much more interesting, thus making my comment about the tempo almost invalid.
2nd Listen: “Framed” comes in with a slow, but imposing bass line and volume swells from the guitars paint a desolate soundscape. Guitar then takes the lead and the track slowly builds into a brief heavy riff before stepping back again. It has a nice use of dynamics that keep interest, but don’t move far from the path. The last couple of minutes are Isis inspired post-metal. (Then again, which post-metal band is not inspired by Isis?)
More volume swells introduce “Unveiled”. It starts with a familiar feel to “Framed”; slow start, slight step up to bring in the guitar’s melody and real simple, but effective, drumming. I feel like it is going to get heavy again and again, but it holds off towards the five and a half minute mark. The track almost stops and starts again towards the end.
I find myself describing the structure of a song more than actually reviewing it if I don’t have much to say. That is the problem. I do not have much to say. So far it is a solid album, but it is not pushing the buttons hard enough to make me go, “Wow!”
“Renewal” changes the structure up a bit with more focus on the metal side, some of the riffs are almost jovial and there is an optimistic edge to this track, not something you hear everyday in post-metal!
The heavily delayed guitars and tribal drumming make for an effective intro to “The Cave”. Again we have a slow build up with some changes here and there. Then we get some heavier bits. This does not hold my attention really, but “Trial” gets straight onto the heavy parts, the marching drums really bring this track up, but once they hit their crescendo the track falls on its face and I missed the rest of it.
Unfortunately this album does get quite boring. All the elements are there, it is just the execution; there is no feeling. “Aspire” drags. “Focus Shift” steps it up and is nice and heavy throughout; a very welcome change! “The Way of Origin”, yep it is definitely written by Colaris. *Yawn.
My point being that this album is far from engaging. I should like it, I know I should. In fact it is frustrating that I do not like it, but I am pretty happy that it has finished.
3rd Listen: I’d put off listening to this again. Now I’m giving it a spin and enjoying it more that I’m not listening intently. It is still not mind blowing though. It is just missing that “something” to make it absolutely spellbinding. That is a shame because there are some brilliant moments.
Hmmm… As I write that I realise that I’m really enjoying listening to this again. I’d obviously been intent on not enjoying it that much that I had kidded myself into lying! Damn, I’m not sure where I am going with this. I think with a few more listens it will slowly crawl into my collection.
I’m still not sure.
Conclusion: This is an album with all the right parts, but it certainly does not deliver on the first few listens. So if you are happy to be in for the long haul; go for it.
- First Impression: Indifferent
- Final Impression: Good