Since their arrival in 2004, Coliseum have amassed the kind of respect from other musicians – punk and metal alike – that most bands with presumably even larger followings are envious of. The respect and admiration these guys get is absolutely warranted as Coliseum blend a perfect mixture of punk’s sneer and noise rock’s bombast. Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of listening to a band from its very beginnings to their third or fourth full length is the ability to hear them grow as musicians and as a collective group. While earlier releases found Coliseum relentless in their punk sound, Sister Faith, their fourth full length, shows a band whose maturation hasn’t come at the cost of their integrity or their ability to take risks. Much of the aggression here is not contained in screams, but in melodies and surprisingly good clean vocals revealing yet another dynamic to a band who’s already shown their incomparable penchant for bullshit-free sounds since day one.
Sister Faith starts with the blazing “Disappear from Sight” – an almost two minute manifestation of everything that sets Coliseum apart from the seemingly endless number of bands who try to encapsulate various sounds into a singular effort. The nature of punk is abrasion – a kind of musical scourge to eradicate the insincere. For me, punk has always been firmly rooted in the sense of authenticity. It’s not complex, because the most important things are fucking simple. Coliseum grasps this sensibility with a complete dedication. Tracks like “Love Under Will” and “ Everything in Glass” show a band unwilling to stay within the confines of any genre. Instead, the band explores their own abilities as songwriters, both lyrically and compositionally.
At thirteen tracks, Sister Faith never seems bloated. There’s a sense of seamlessness from track to track as vocalist/guitarist Ryan Patterson shouts and sings over the beautifully jarring bass work of Kayhan Vaziri and the airtight percussion provided by Carter Wilson. In my interview with Coliseum last year, Patterson was frank in his approach to songwriting as he stated: “We have always simply wanted to play whatever moved us.” It’s not uncommon for bands to take this approach when asked about their process. The tough part is actually putting feet to the words and doing it. In that regard, Coliseum succeed on every level as Sister Faith is a firm reminder of the band’s abilities to evolve their incredible sound without sacrificing one iota of sincerity. Sister Faith is released April 30th, courtesy of Temporary Residence.
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