Colosseum – Chapter 3: Parasomnia …   Leave a comment

This is the final album from Finnish funeral doom masters Colosseum  after the tragic the death of frontman Juhani Palomäki on Saturday May 15th 2010, he was only 32 years old. If you are any kind of fan of the funeral doom style, you would be aware of Colosseum by now. This album marks the end to a funeral doom trilogy of recordings that are among the most unique doom albums ever released. The first two albums, ‘Chapter 1: Delirium’ and ‘Chapter 2: Numquam’ both received critical acclaim from most people but some never really got it. The most common negative comment you read about ‘Colosseum’ is that they never really progressed and is it true the first two albums were copies of each other. This third album is a bit different but still carries on where the last album left off – but when you have such a colossal sound like this, it is hard to fault the power and quality this band possesses.

Colosseum are all about atmosphere and sheer doom and gloom, nothing happy here at all and don’t expect any bouncy riffing either. The first song is a 20 minute plus epic of total misery titled ‘Dilapidation and Death.’ The lyrics say it all …

Gloom is no more the same, light increases the pain in this suffering
Feelings have shriveled to death, awaiting to die with no idolatry
Believing in nothing at all
These bleeding veins are as indifferent as existence in itself
No sorrow behind these wounds, just hatred and pain
Reaching the end for good.

These words are extra harrowing in light of the demise of Juhani and musically, it is just as depressing and sad. While this song is very long and somber and morose, it never gets that depressing really and its 22 minutes flows by without getting tedious at all. When it comes to epic, majestic doom sounds, this band is hard to beat. They use keyboards, cello and violins to great effect but what is most important is these instruments add to the overwhelming heaviness of the mood and the music itself. They never sound just tacked on like a lot of other funeral doom acts. ‘Dilapidation and Death’ is the strongest track this album has to offer in my opinion. The way it flows makes it extremely enjoyable to listen to despite its extended running time and if you only want to hear one song from the band, this would be it. This is their true masterpiece and should be the track to remember the band by in the future.

Second track, ‘Questioning Existence’ comes and goes without really adding anything to the album. The song is dwarfed by the sheer epic qualities of‘Dilapidation and Death’ so it tends to be instantly forgettable. The following track however, ‘Passage to Eternity’ is excellent, certainly not as great as the opening track but it has some amazing melodies. The only real difference between ‘Chapter 3: Parasomnia’ and the first two albums is in the heaviness. This album uses a lot more orchestration so it is more mellow overall and is more heavy on the melancholy. The guitars are also cleaner but don’t worry, this is still a funeral doom experience that crushes. ‘On the Strand of Nightmares’ and ‘Parasomnia’ finish the album off with 22 minutes of more of the same – very atmospheric and epic!

To be honest this is the kind of album that will mesmerize some people and bore the hell out of others and to be frank, by the time you get to the last track, it does start to sound like they are recycling the same ideas over and over again. What ultimately wins me over though is their sound, not many bands in the genre sound as unique as this but the truth is, this is the weakest of their 3 albums. By Colosseum’s standards, it is a tad generic and predictable which ideas being bled to death especially in the albums second half. What I will say though, in years to come Colosseum will be regarded as innovators for other funeral doom acts and this album will be remembered just as much as their other two albums. In conclusion, this is still good but disappointing. I was expecting them to end their time as a band in a big way but this sounds like they simply ran out of ideas……7.5/10
Official Website
Colosseum @ MySpace
Colosseum @ Facebook

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Posted April 18, 2011 by doommantia in Colosseum

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