Colosseum

Chapter 1: Delirium

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Many of the doom metal bands that emerged in the '80s and '90s shared stoner rock's obsession with the highly influential Black Sabbath. While the vocals weren't necessarily influenced by Ozzy Osbourne, the riffs owed a major stylistic debt to classic Sabbath albums from the '70s such as Paranoid, Master of Reality, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. But one of the things that funeral doom (a form of doom metal) has taught us is that being Sabbath-obsessed is not a prerequisite for playing doom metal, and Colosseum's debut album, Chapter 1: Delirium, is a perfect example of a funeral doom disc that does not have an obvious Sabbath fixation. Instead, Colosseum (a Finnish band that should not confused with a late-'60s/early-'70s progressive rock outfit that had the same name) plays extremely dark and bleak music that combines doom metal's heaviness with elements of ambient electronica. Lead singer Juhani Palomäki consistently favors the type of deep, guttural "cookie monster" growl that death metal is known for, but truth be told, the vocals are the most extreme thing about this album (which, for all its heaviness, is never flat-out vicious). Chapter 1: Delirium is actually quite melodic, although certainly not in a happy or optimistic way. It isn't hard to understand why discs like Chapter 1: Delirium are called doom metal; this 63-minute CD really does have a sense of doom, and Colosseum's material expresses feelings of total hopelessness and total despair. No rays of sunlight enter the troubled place that Chapter 1: Delirium inhabits -- and while that may not sound appealing to those who are not into doom metal, this 2007 release is a well executed and noteworthy example of the funeral doom style.

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