Coliseum – ‘Sister Faith’

By Tom Aylott

From the outset ‘Sister Faith’ dispels any misconceptions that Coliseum may return to their hardcore infused routes. The album continues where ‘House With A Curse’ left off, contorting punk and grunge while straining it through an onslaught of distortion. Rather than running with the increasingly typical snarly vocals, this distortion sits comfortably behind frontman Ryan Patterson’s distinctive tones.

Elements of hardcore are retained in the gritty screams on punk masterpieces ‘Bad Will’ and ‘Save Everything’, yet the majority of the record allows Patterson to rasp his way through a steady wave of mid-tempo punk. Taking a further step away from the days of 2004’s self-titled release or 2007’s ‘No Salvation’, ‘Sister Faith’ is considerably more experimental and resultantly exciting. The immediate power of those foundations is replaced with intelligent transitions from all-out punk to grunge flecked beauty, and yet loses nothing in this conversion.

The two bedraggled five minute tracks that dominate the mid-section meander at an enticingly steady pace, and arrive a few steps behind the undeniable noise-fest that is ‘Fuzzbang’. ‘Love Under Will’ in particular avoids an unnecessary rush but retains the ferocity that underpins the entire record. These tracks compliment the likes of ‘Late Night Trains’, ensuring they sound even punchier when juxtaposed with the more pedestrian pace.

All the while, ‘Sister Faith’ remains a catchy record. It is almost impossible to tear away from the listening experience because, rather than becoming repetitive, the record ebbs and flows at all the right moments, dispersing the up-beat tracks to enhance the overall experience.

Far from sacrificing power in favour of slower and more considered song structures, Coliseum have effectively increased their baneful tones. ‘Sister Faith’ is foreboding and captivating in equal measures. Pulling together punk and the darker side of early 90s indie, ‘Sister Faith’ retains its credentials and offers so much more at the same time. This is one hell of an exciting record.

BEN TIPPLE

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