One has to admire the members of Dozer for having the balls to name their fifth album Beyond Colossal, thereby raising fan expectations to improbable heights; but then, Sweden's longest-running stoner rock band (arguably) haven't paid much mind to external forces throughout their career -- or else they'd have switched to death metal or pop music by now. No, Dozer remain committed to their primary musical course, and like other stoner rock stalwarts such as Fu Manchu or Clutch (whose Neil Fallon lends guest vocals on a couple of these tracks), their enduring relevance resides in both maintaining the broad strokes and manipulating the minute idiosyncrasies of their particular sonic recipe, so that it can balance familiarity with fresh perspectives. In the specific case of Beyond Colossal, this entails embarking on what is arguably their heaviest and darkest song cycle yet, although prime examples like "The Flood," "The Ventriloquist," and the really quite beyond colossal "The Throne" aren't exactly depressing so much as wickedly foreboding, substituting hooks and softer contrasts for absolutely crushing riffs and tornado-like vocal howls. Even slightly more melodic numbers like "Empire's End" (which sometimes sounds like a distorted take on Blondie's "Call Me"), "Grand Inquisitor" (featuring a gentle, whispered midsection), and "Bound for Greatness" (a drawn-out stoner rock hymn of sorts) are to a certain extent draped in bleak shades of despair. All this obviously makes Beyond Colossal a distinctly less accessible or immediate listening experience than recent Dozer albums, but their fans will surely be up for the challenge -- and rewarded for their efforts -- in no time.
released 11 November 2008
Fredrik Nordin: Vocals and Guitar
Tommi Holappa: Lead guitar
Johan Rockner: Bass
Olle Mårthans: Drums
Produced by Tommi Holappa and Fredrik Nordin.
Co-produced by Karl Daniel Liden .
Engineered By Karl Daniel Liden Recorded at Studios 301,Stockholm and Rockhuset Studios, Borlange. Mixed by Karl Daniel Liden at Tri-Lamb Studios,Stockholm.
Mastered by John Golden at Golden Mastering,Ventura,CA.
Guest vocals on Empire's End and Two coins for eyes by Neil Fallon.
Hammond Organ on Bound For Greatness by Jocke Aslund.
Artwork and Design by Nathan Lavertue.
Band photo by Erik Backwall and Per Jonsson.