Colossus Fall - Sempervirens
Self Release
6 songs (18' 59")
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Andy
Archive review

Metalcore isn't really my kind of music normally, but by special request from a colleague I checked out Swiss act Colossus Fall's 2012 album, Sempervirens. For all its abrasive edges, it's surprisingly listenable, with complex rhythms that don't get in the way of the songs and plenty of light and dark to the album. It even has some melody.

The aforementioned rhythms are all over the map. Human Shields starts with thrashing speed, but slows down to noisily rhythmic twin-guitar harmonies. Vocalist Mathieu's rough shouts are harsh but clear enough to understand the lyrics, and there's a strong groove element accompanying him in a lot of these songs. The ominous atmosphere found sometimes here is good too; Cold Night starts with a minor key with lots of guitar noise, palm-mutes, and a melody which, if played three times faster, would fit in quite well on a black metal album. This is one of the best tracks, though the longest track, Colossus, is also excellent. The vocal style doesn't seem to go as well with the swinging, noise-drenched rhythm as it does on some of these other tracks, but the blocky guitar riffs are stronger and more effective than they are anywhere else due to their synchronization, and they're absolutely crushing here, with the lead guitar's feedback-laced soloing giving the main riff a coldness that it otherwise wouldn't be able to impart.

Sempervirens turned out to be quite a bit better than I expected, if rather short. Even people who aren't huge metalcore fans will probably be able to enjoy it -- and at a "Name Your Price" cost on Bandcamp, it's not going to set anyone's budget back much.


Killing Songs :
Cold Night, Kill the Shepherd
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