Colossus Morose are a pretty young duo, formed in 2015 by C.J.. The band nowadays consists of German multi-instrumentalist Christoph ‘C.J.’ Roth (guitar player of Heavy / Thrash band Transnight) and Swiss vocalist Jean-Claude ‘J.C.’ of Black Sputum-fame (currently living in Norway). Seclusion is Colossus Morose’s first official recording, recorded, mixed and mastered in both Norway (Tromsø) and Germany (Hanover) in between Winter 2016 and Winter 2017. The band signed to one of Russia’s most impressive Doom labels, Endless Winter, to have this six-tracker released. The CD edition comes in digipack and in a ‘normal’ version (the so-called ‘jewel-case’), with an eight-page booklet that includes the lyrics (in English).
Seclusion, which has a total running time of forty-three minutes, offers the audience something that both surprises and, at the same time, crawls forth on known paths. It is an album that finds inspiration in the funereal Doom-Death scene from the earlier years. But there is more than just ‘once another Doom-Death album’ that lacks inspiration. No, inspiration is one of the keywords here, despite the lack of originality.
The essence, the core is based on a universal approach, somewhat old schooled and traditional. Slow melodious riffs and extremely heavy rhythms are lick the backbone of the compositions. The riffing is melodic, interspersed with some piercing solos, crafted dual leads and thick layers of tremolo play. This gets supported by a massive rhythm section, with pounding rhythm guitar and bass lines (very interesting, and prominently represented because of the sound quality, which I will come back to immediately), and cool, impressive drumming. Indeed, drums and percussion are worthy elements, strengthening the harshness of the Music. All this refers to C.J., so what about J.C.’s vocals?
Well, if you’re trusted with the Black Metal outfit Black Sputum, you will be surprised. Instead of rusty screams, J.C. vomits deep-guttural, low-pitched and abyssal growls. His grunts are very deep in tone, which rather reminds me of the Funeral Doom scene. But he has a volatile timbre, with spoken words in two tracks, some ‘traditional’ grunts, a few (bizarre) pig-squeals (in Perpetual Enthralled) and some throaty blackened screams involved too, which is an enormous surplus to my (subjective) opinion.
Besides the ‘orthodox’ approach, Colossus Morose go further than performing Doom Death Metal only. As said, the elemental ingredients of the scene are represented with pride and honour. But the band draws influences from some related scenes too. A very huge dose of Funeral Doom elegance / excellence covers the whole album. This has to do, as mentioned, with the vile growls of J.C., yet also with some specific excerpts. The last chapter of Perpetually Enthralled, for example, is such clean and evident example. Or listen to the monstrous track Six, painting a snowy and misty graveyard theme… Yet actually, the overall riffing has a sound reminiscent of, or at least related to, the glorious Funeral Doom genre. Besides, in a subtle way, elements from both the Black and the Death Metal scene are woven throughout these compositions as well.
The production of Seclusion is full and powerful. Yeah, this firm heaviness fits to this specific kind of sonic supremacy, but the result truly is majestic, heavy and loud. And despite being recorded and mixed in two different studios, the final result sounds organic and well-balanced. I think it is important to have the rhythm section, which gives support from the background, is clearly audible too (too often, bass lines and rhythm guitars fade away, being just an aspect to promote the leads; that’s not the case here).