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Album Reviews : El Colosso – Pathways

By on May 1, 2017

Stoner rock. When it’s done well, it kinda sorta defies its name. It can be quite exhilarating, and that’s what we have here. These Melbourne boys have given us a titanic slab of pounding, fist-pumping blues-based heavy rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s just beautiful.

It’s probably best typified by second track and first single Leatherhead, which is like a freight train of forward momentum, and catchy as all hell with its blistering classic rock riff and soaring half-time chorus. It’s the album’s best cut, but far from its only great moment.

Elsewhere, King Ink is a rolling, rollicking bluesy blast with stop-start dynamics and great vocals from frontman Matt Cooper that reminds one of Chris Cornell. In fact, the Soundgarden gun’s influences is all over Cooper’s delivery across the course of the album, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Then there are the more slow-burning moments like The Hunted Lament and Limbo, which lend the album some very welcome tasteful dynamics.

A good stoner band will inject a little raunch and boogie into their sound, and that’s exactly what these guys do, especially on the title track, which is shitloads of fun.

Then there is Moving Mountains, an album closer that lives up to its hefty name. It is 10 minutes of slow, grinding, pounding might, with one of the most epic, wah wah-soaked lead guitar outros that you’d ever want to hear.

Pathways is wall to wall killer, and if there was any justice in the musical world, it would put this excellent Aussie band firmly on the stoner rock map across the globe.

Band: El Colosso
Album: Pathways
Year: 2017
Genre: Stoner rock
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia

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Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.