You should like Colours to Shame for two reasons: firstly, The Guardian likes them and the Guardian remains one of the few (almost) consistently wonderful things in the world for wooly lefty liberals like myself. Secondly, Colours to Shame are a really, really good technical metal band. Dudes bring all da shred.
“Who is the Fifth?” opens up with a barrage of upbeat technicality and dynamic scope that brings to mind Devin Townsend before hurtling off down a pleasingly visceral death metal influenced path. There’s a lot of ideas in this song, but to the band’s credit they understand just when to cut a passage off to switch it up again. Nothing over stays its welcome, in fact some ideas would more than welcome to come back again.
A lot of tech metal can feel a bit dead if you’re used to music that relies more on the dreaded v word (“vibe”) instead of music that is judged on the instrumental prowess on display. Colours to Shame manage to fall just the right side of that fine line; this release is staggeringly tight, but it doesn’t suffer from feeling stale and overly controlled either.
This is surely in part due to huge sounding mix courtesy of none other than Justin Hill of the ceaselessly wonderful and flawless Sikth (an obvious influence on this band in the best way possible) , but it also says a lot about the bands ability to write parts. That’s an important distinction from song-writing because “Who is the Fifth?” does still feel a little bit disjointed. Somewhere round about the 4.30-5 min mark something doesn’t quite seem to fit any-more.
Though if I’m honest I’m not sure what. I love the fluid and lush leads that come to life over that section. So maybe it’s the chugging groove? But that is also pretty cool and the brief jazzy interlude with the excellent bass lines is also sweet. Quite what derailed the train isn’t clear. Perhaps it was more of a diversion.
Unfortunately it’s a feeling that emerges again on b-side “Pinbacker”, but that feeling is offset by the excellently aggressive and gnarly opening gambit of this track. This song trumps most other tech metal songs in terms of satisfying brutality.
There’s a reason Metal Hammer (you can get this track free on the current Metal Hammer cover mount CD) , Team Rock and the Guardian are picking up on this band: they’re well good at what they do.
Colours to Shame ain’t got nothing to be ashamed of yo! They be shamin’ all over you.
Or something hip like that anyway.
“Who is the Fifth?” is available now from the band’s Bandcamp page and on the current Metal Hammer cover mount CD.