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Colosseum : Chapter 3: Parasomnia

Sometimes average and generic Colosseum's third album still sounds a thousand times better than most stuff released today.

Reviewing Colosseum’s latest and most probably last release takes some kind of disclaimer. Reviews are about the music and the music only. In no way, should there be some allusions to regretful and yet much too personal events that wouldn’t benefit anyone. Art speaks for itself.

With Chapter III: Parasomnia, comes the final part of the triptych started in 2007. While Chapter I: Delirium was highly praised by Funeral Doom fans all over the world for bringing us with a solid alternative to dusty Shape Of Despair with tracks of awesome and dark beauty like ‘Aesthetics of the Grotesque’, Chapter II: Nunquam had proved to be somehow a disappointment bringing no further new elements to Colosseum’s sound, only expanding it as if it were studio versions of the debut that hadn’t made the final cut. Parasomnia unfortunately follows this downward trend and while the sales figures may seem to show otherwise and the raving newfound born-again fans of the band claim it is their best so far, I can only disagree.

The darkness that was so enthralling on the first two chapters is somehow gone. First indicator of this is the artwork with its whitish cover but since one shouldn't be judging a book by its cover, let’s first and foremost concentrate on the music. Beginning the new opus is ‘Dilapidation and Death’ which is by far the best song on the record but also the longest one. This gives the listening experience something of a really uneven feel: not only you’re served with the best track from the start but the shorter and so-so generic tracks that follow will probably kill this opus’ replay value real quick.

Musically it’s not so much different than the first two records except it’s a lot less heavy, relying a lot more on clean undistorted strings and increasingly ever more on synth orchestration making Shape Of Despair’s Illusion's Play sound like the masterpiece it never was. You still have those cookie monster growls to remind you it’s still Colosseum playing over there on your stereo but it fails to bring the emotion we were all expecting and quite frankly by the time you’ll reach the ending eponymous track you might be bored to death.

Still to end this review on a happier note, please note that expectations were probably too high for a record that’s being praised at this very moment for the wrong reasons but even something average and generic by Colosseum still sounds a thousand times better than most stuff released today in the confidential sphere of Funeral Doom. It’s just too bad that the record doesn't live to its expectations but there’s nothing more we can do about it now.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Dilapidation and Death
2. Questioning Existence
3. Passage to Eternity
4. On the Strand of Nightmares
5. Parasomnia

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes

Visit the Colosseum bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-12 by Frédéric Cerfvol
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