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Mega Colossus - Riptime

Mega Colossus
Riptime
by Mark Machlay at 12 April 2022, 6:29 AM

One of the nerdiest heavy metal bands, Raleigh, North Carolina’s MEGA COLOSSUS is back with a thrashier offering than previous albums with “Riptime” released on December 17th, 2021. The band can track its beginnings back to 2005 when guitarist Bill Fischer had been without a band for a while and met up with some friends he had made from other bands that had gotten together recently to make a rough demo. A mere 3 or 4 months later, the group were in a van, acting silly and shooting off fireworks for fun. Then, the band was Fischer, vocalist Sean Buchanan, bassist Ryan Wilshire, drummer Benjamin Smith, and guitarist Nicky Nixon. They may have endured some lineup changes over the years with Nixon going on to be a lawyer, bringing Andy Lewis on and then having to replace him as he went to school in New York with James McCracken and now Chris Millard has stepped in on secondary axe. But, as far as Fischer is concerned, “everyone is just an absentee member”.

Originally called COLOSSUS they instead decided to lean even further into their nerdy comic book nature – and many upstart bands were using the same name – and “level up” to MEGA COLOSSUS after their debut full-length “…and the Rift of the Pan-Dimensional Undergods”. Calling their particular style of music “adventure metal” MEGA COLOSSUS has always prided itself on being an independent band and doing their own thing. So much so, they sometimes need a little help with funding for their projects and in this digital age they’re able to start a campaign with Kickstarter to get their latest “Riptime” funded. From their own campaign they say, “We have stepped it up on this one. We spent the pandemic working our butts off in the practice space to write our most ambitious album yet. We are super proud of this one and we can’t wait for you to hear it.”

The band now known as MEGA COLOSSUS throws curveballs – especially right at the beginning – on their second full-length under their new name but its bangers, through and through. As I mentioned, the first curveball comes with the frenetic, almost thrashy opening track “Razor City” which is wholly different stylistically than the rest of the album it made me think I should be expecting a power metal leading band than a more straight-ahead traditional sounding metal album. Rest assured, they dial it down – but only a notch or two – on second track “Midnight Zone” which may have hints of a nerdy turn into DRAGONFORCE territory, I’d say they are closer stylistically to COHEED AND CAMBRIA, especially following with the sword and sorcery themed lyrics throughout the album. That is to stay, its not all breakneck power metal riffs but takes almost progressive metal twists and turns to their songs and featured plenty of dual guitar leads. I especially enjoyed the leads in “Vigilo Confido” in which they take on a more synthy quality, perfect for a throwback 80s sound. They then take the meaning of epic into their own style with ending track “Iron Rain” in which traditional heavy metal songwriting is completely eschewed and just becomes a rollicking good time throughout several different themes. While Sean Buchanan’s vocals are spot on and I’ve already fellated about the guitar work, the music still didn’t hit me as hard as I was expecting – as a self-professed DnD-loving nerd – but I whole-heartedly endorse this “adventure metal” and you should give this a shot and see for yourself, you might end up loving it!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Razor City
2. Midnight Zone
3. Vigilo Confido
4. Tinker Tanner
5. Run to the Fight
6. Boiling Seas
7. Iron Rain
Lineup:
Bill Fischer – Guiitars
Sean Buchanan – Vocals
Doza Mendoza – Drums
Anthony Micale – Bass
Chris Millard – Guitar
Record Label: Independent
     


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