Colossloth – Plague Alone
Cold Spring Records
CD / DL
Out May 15th 2020
Colossloth has given us a prophetic album title, who knew how we would be living right now when the tracks and album were named. This got me as soon as I put it on. It’s the best thing to come from the mind of the ‘mysterious beast hailing from Leicester.’ It’s an inhuman mass of sound. Metallic and laced with dust. There are no pop songs here, no allusions to a life we live, no bright breezy colours. This is the third Colossloth album I have disappeared into and this one is the best. My notes written as I listened to this read like the ramblings of a lunatic, I tried rewriting it and it didn’t work, so here goes, maybe I’ve finally gone.
This rises up like some behemoth from beneath the earth, concrete and steel falling as static rises around it and sparks off into the sky. There is a pattern behind the buzz and a mass of synths rising and falling like a strange tide full of horrific flotsam, dropping away as to leave a tiny quietness.
The hiss carries on as a drill whirs into beetle wings. It’s high frequency and hard, television screens display sunlight and flowers as the drill turns incessantly in a filthy, steel room. There’s a rumbling shaking drone. Pulsing as the noise grows within. It’s dropping you down a long long flight of stairs, icy cold and frozen with loss. the noise drops as you reach the end and what sounds like guitar strums, spaghetti western feel of a wide open lost place, reaching out in all directions to nothingness, white noise falls like coded rain, the music feels out of place and disturbing as if it knows it will be overpowered by the noise in the end, swathes of strings ease the mind as you fall and lie still.
There’s a collection of tiny guitar notes as a cold hard wind blows behind. A sense of loss and regret. The focus is the tune and the noise gently rising below, it’s enveloped in a mauled attack of rage, obliterated in noise, unstopping building sound, confusion hatred and bile, after an eternity of savagery it fades to a small chittering hissing and synth warm waves, peaceful in the darkness. The noise is still underneath but barely audible. This lulls and relaxes you until at the end it rises again, terrifying and obliterating enveloping all and creating a dark blankness.
It clears into static, noise and musical notes. They breath, asthmatically forcing lungs to move and a body to rise, the sound isn’t harsh just forced and hard work. The mutiny of the body as it rots and falls. The feeling of hope abandoned and dreams lost. Enveloping and swamping but only in a morass of trouble. Abandonment and tears. As it ends there is a small tune buried that comes to the fore, it’s not a relief, it’s just more sadness.
Then old instruments make a sparse tune as the noise grows behind, not overpowering, just cutting through and mutilating the emotions. then fading as the tune continues. rising and falling, giving the feeling of a blank ever moving mass of water. Tidal and brutal, wearing down everything and caring for nothing. The tune tries to come back but the dread covers all.
There’s demented hissing all over the place and someone’s hitting a cable over and over. It’s a broken phone line trying to dial up the internet, echoes of websites and humanity underneath the inevitable electronic spasms, the clicking turns more to the ticking of a clock, pausing, then stamping, it’s underneath now, gone, the static drone over powering and the stamping turns intermittent like a poisoned, irregular heart beat. ominous and crawling it’s endless. feedback squeals in and it just keeps going on and on and on. I think there’s a tune underneath buried and lost but it’s unclear with the droning static. There it is, rising up and taking over a moment of beauty almost overpowering the force of static. There’s a synth wash and a small tune and the synth rises, static creeping around the edges. It’s joined by stamping then the static rises forth and the obliteration of the melody is complete and that’s how it ends, noise falling away to nothing and just a whine up and down as it finishes.
As I said, this got me and held me for the length of the recording. I didn’t stop listening at all. A sonic creation for listening alone as the world lies still around you.
You can buy the album from Cold Spring’s Bandcamp page
All words by Adrian Bloxham