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El Colosso - Forgotten Ancestors Award winner

El Colosso
Forgotten Ancestors
by Kevin Lewis at 25 February 2021, 4:12 PM

Australia has exported some great music over the decades. One of their newer exports that you may not about yet, but should, is EL COLOSSO, a Melbourne-based four-piece band. They are a blend of Blues, Rock and Metal with some Melodic, Doom and Stoner Metal thrown in for good measure. "Forgotten Ancestors" was released independently on December 24, 2020.

With only seven tracks, EL COLOSSO gets right to the point on this record. “New Years” has a fade in that leads to a sludgy guitar riff that cruises along and gets in no hurry, but keeps moving forward. It is a tight knit song that has a cool rhythm under the guitars and uses some really good vocal harmonies to accentuate the tune. None of the other band members are listed as backing vocals, so either they have uncredited talents or they layered the lead. Either way, it sounds good. It fits the song.

Next up is “Bystander,” a song they also do in Spanish as well as English. This is a faster song than “New Years” and has a really good pace built in. There is a nice shift for the bridge to a doomier sound that leads into the guitar solo. This is a well-done section and again fits into the song as a whole. It is creative and innovative.

Shifting Sands” again moves a little quicker, with a catchy riff and chugging rhythm that has a lot of fun tones within it. This is more 80s metal than the first song, which was almost '70s Hard Rock. There is a lot of “throwback” to the sound of this band. The influence of the past shines through, but the modern production adds a layer of newness that should entice fans of those eras.

Moving on, “As One” is another slow burner that is tuned down a bit and gives off that sludgy vibe that sounds oh so good when done right. It plods along, in no hurry, just driving on and getting the job done. “Too Many Times Won” is a little quicker and heavier. I really like the way the song builds from just a guitar, adding in a slower drum line before going into the main section of the song and filling out the sound with a cool bass rhythm.

Down” starts with an interesting drum intro that leads to a heavy guitar riff and a really solid bass line. The song has a distinct, heavy tone that feels darker than much of the rest of the record. It feels a lot like BLACK SABBATH meets SOUNDGARDEN. It’s hard not to love something like that. Wrapping up the record is “Backchat,” the seven+ minute song that shifts back and forth between a slow, seductive tone and the harder driving sections that just power the song along.

EL COLOSSO is heavy without going for speed or power. They have a quality sound that is new, yet relies on the past. They have that driving force that bands like LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH had early on. They have the intricacy and finesse of groups like GUNS ‘N’ ROSES or SOUNDGARDEN. It’s classic, meets heavy, meets grunge and adapts to form something new and exciting.

At the end of the day, one thing this band does is affirm that bluesy hard rock and metal is alive and well in Australia and the new generation of musicians is doing fine. Well-produced and mixed, this is a really good record and will make a good addition to and fan of harder rock that loves a good melody.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. New Years
2. Bystanders
3. Shifting Sands
4. As One
5. Too Many Times Won
6. Down To The Stars
7. Backchat
Matt Cooper – Vocals
Alex Hayes – Bass
Peter Hayden – Drums
Benny James – Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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