BRUTAL RESONANCE, January 19th 2016 :
If we are to speak of Britain’s drone and dark ambient scenes, Colossloth should not be a name that goes unmentioned. This solo project has been around for ten years, The Leicester project has been around since 2006 crafting uncanny experimental drone artpieces since his inauguration to the scene. Since then, he has garnered both praise and, I assume while I say this, more than a few curious eyebrows who either find what he is doing is special or completely bonkers. I consider myself one of the few who both realize the ripe traits he showcases while maintaining a morbid fascination with his odd sounds. The end of 2015 saw the release of a new beast from Colossloth titled “Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth”, a nine track album which boasts a comprehensive library of various articles of noise. Colossloth is able to maintain his own identity in the experimental locale thanks to his stunning backdrops and focus on analog-like sounds from another era. ‘The Flavour Of The Weak’ would have you think that it might just be another drone track in the vastness of all other things drone and boring. However, once you get to the noise distortion and what sounds like the utter destruction of tape, you will be corrected almost immediately. ‘Your Flag Stands For Nothing’ shoots between hard blasts of noise and backwards synth loops. The end result is an ugly beauty. ‘Cave In We Are Complete’ follows a song structure that was built upon in the last two tracks; a simple drone sound starts us off, but slowly Colossloth drives us down a lane of haunting atmospheres and notes played backward. Some might call this a nightmare but I do not blame them. This is a soundtrack to someone’s worst fears; they just don’t know it yet. The title track of the album shows an advanced understanding for static noise, and the mid-section of the track showcases the first semblance of rhythm in the album. What sounds like an industrial song trying to come out is cut short and brought back into Colossloth’s filthy, unending grasp. ‘The World Keeps Turning (On Me)’ is the first track on the album that is slightly more peaceful than the rest. A screeching noise disrupts any full sense of mind you might think you will get, but it is nonetheless a calmer break in the album. A sick industrial mess is located within ‘Of Talons And Teeth’; ADHD is at play as the song goes from one sound to the next, never sticking to a pattern. I came across the only song I wasn’t all too partial to on the album, and that would be ‘Paint Her Face To Simulate The Bloom’. I did appreciate a section that had piano running through it as other, various psychotic sounds overlapped it, but that’s about it. This song actually did not sit well with my ears, and as experimental as experimental can be, this just was a headache. Some may like that, though, as masochistic as some can be. I, however, prefer my punishments physically on the body, not aurally. Relatively the same thoughts erupted with ‘The Nameless Saint’. I absolutely indulged in the first half of the song as blasts of noise controlled the otherwise peaceful piano vibes that rolled through the track. However, the second half without piano guiding it did not speak to me well. The final song on the album, ‘Black Deeds From Dead Seeds’, was a play with minimal works to tape distortion and very light synths. Not for the light hearted, this final ode to experimentation was rather enjoyable. Colossloth is tackling a very niche audience with his latest album, but that is quite alright. He will find his music’s place one way or the other. There are a lot of times when I hear that some people just don’t quite “get” music like this. But, there is nothing to get. You either like the sound you’re hearing or you don’t. For me, noise like this – experimental sounds that never cease to twist and bend every corner you stroll down – has a meditative quality to it when played at a low to mid-level, and that’s exactly how I prefer it. “Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth” is a grueling test of self through industrial menaces and noise experimentation.
7/10 – Steven Gullotta
BOTH BARS ON, March 30th 2016 :
So you go to a pub in another city and drink. Complete strangers (a couple) join you at the table. You somehow get chatting (band T-shirts = the ultimate ice-breaker). The conversation turns (inevitably in my world) to music. “What sort of stuff you into?” the gentleman asks. “Oh, sort of electronic, noisy, rocky stuff”, I respond. “Such as?” [Thinks of best way in]. ”Umm, Teeth of the Sea?” “Oh, I’ve supported them.” “GNOD?” “Yep. Supported them as well”. Enter Colossloth. A bloke I met in the pub in Birmingham. Who gave me a CD of his latest offerings. Was this chance meeting meant to be? Such musings are beyond our remit. Outstretch Your Hand for the Impress of Truth has blown me away. Opener ‘The Flavour of the Weak’ has it all: menaced drones, shards of sharpened static, treated guitar, face-disfiguring crunching oscillators. ‘Your Flag Stands for Nothing’ is a sonic pummelling that sees a jack hammer bass obliterating idiotic nationalism, both overt and banal, whilst knives sharpen and cut away at apparent ‘stirring’ patriotic orchestrals. What engorges the soul here is the plethora of questions that arise as you experience the assembled noises: where did that sound came from? What was its original form? What variety of torture has been performed upon it? What Hammond Organ was cruelly, yet brilliantly, maimed to make the inserts on the album’s title track? Is this the recollection of a significantly bad day in Blackpool? The disturbing undertow to ‘The World Keeps Turning (On Me)’ could well be a voice detuned and stretched to intimidating proportions. The riff on ‘Of Talons and Teeth’ is incredible in its visceral abrasions. The circular feedback on ‘Paint Her Face to Simulate the Bloom’ is pure pleasure and the most sublime pain. ‘The Nameless Saint’ stands out with its devastatingly heart-wrenched piano and high frequency whines. It’s the closest thing to soundtracking death’s inevitability that I have heard for a long while. Both terror and redemption are here. This is superb uneasy listening in the vein of Haxan Cloak, a more considered Merzbow perhaps, with echoes of Fennesz.
SIDE-LINE, March 16th 2016 :
Cold Spring Records has signed this Leicester based solo-project set up by Wooly Woolaston. A few earlier productions were already released, but I can imagine joining the prestigious Cold Spring roster will a serious step forward for Colossloth. The sound of Colossloth is not that easy to define. The work clearly sounds inspired by heavy industrial blasts mixed with experimentalism and abstract-music passages. The sound is a kind of sterile space filled with numerous and diversified noises. It sounds like the mix between sampled noise sources and eventually field recordings. The collection of noises to create new inputs appears to be one of the main preoccupations, which resulted in a rather diverse work. Nothing is weird enough to experiment with sounds. From guitar to classic piano passages and from a few lost spoken words to iron noises this album is an impressive platform of sonic jewelry, which always joins an ultimate dark atmosphere throughout the entire album with its dense and obscure texture.
Positive points : Colossloth avoids any kind of established stereotypes while using familiar elements from industrial-, ambient- and experimental music.
Negative points : I’m missing a real apotheosis on this album.
Conclusion: This album feels like you are listening to a sonic catalogue of different, but related music genres, which will appeal for lovers of industrial and experimental music.
Best songs: “The Flavour Of the Weak”, “The Nameless Saint”.
Inferno Sound Diaries
INTRAVENOUS MAGAZINE, February 17th 2016 :
Leicester’s Colossloth has for ten years been creating some of the most interesting experimental and ambient music in the country. Mixing drone, ambient, noise and proto-industrial nuances this solo project has consistently produced unique sonic craftsmanship. The harsh and unusual noises, and abstract rhythmic modes are often juxtaposed against unfathomably cinematic textures and the result is an evolving an meditative experience that despite the often dissonant qualities is quite hypnotic. The solo project’s newest offering on Cold Spring Records ‘Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth’ is no exception. Tracks such as ‘The Flavour Of The Weak’, ‘Cave In We Are Complete’, ‘Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth’ , ‘The World Keeps Turning (On Me)’ and ‘Of Talons And Teeth’ utilise subtle yet cavernous drones before punctuating them with hard and discordant noises. While the likes of ‘Your Flag Stands For Nothing’, ‘Paint Her Face to Simulate The Bloom’, and ‘The Nameless Saint’ experiment with abstract rhythmic constructions and even simple but haunting piano melodies amidst the din to build a varied display of affecting noise. With the artist rooted in experimental and noise music you’d be forgiven for dismissing the production side of things and thinking everything is drenched in distortion and sounded like it was recorded in a tin bathtub. But it isn’t. The ambient side of the album informs the production which is in-turn cavernous and almost cinematic in its execution which gives the tracks clarity and grandeur. For fans of experimental music Colossloth are a shining light and ‘Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth’ is a great example of how to make high-quality experimental music that can play with genres and still doesn’t rehash what has come before. It is a strong album and although it’s audience won’t be huge, it will nevertheless find favour with fans of experimental music.