For the most part, Coliseum‘s new record Anxiety’s Kiss is almost a complete departure from where the band started ten plus years ago. The songs on this album showcase a much more refined, conventional sound that you wouldn’t expect after listening to classic thrashers Goddamage and No Salvation where the music is much faster and heavier. It seems that since the release of The Parasites EP in 2011, Coliseum as a band have been steadily mellowing their sound with each release, and in this case I believe change is a good thing.
Make no mistake, these tunes are still loud and pissed off, they are just constructed differently with vocals and catchy choruses becoming more of the centerpiece. It seems that there might have been more consideration in the writing and recording process, as every song has its own personality and the quality of sound is superb, probably the best I’ve ever heard from Coliseum. The tempo is mostly slowed down (by classic Coliseum standards) while the guitars aren’t nearly as boisterous as before, although Ryan Patterson’s reputable guitar sound is still there and easily recognized.
Anxiety’s Kiss is vocally driven, more so than anything I’ve heard from Coliseum in the past. Patterson’s voice comes at you as a bitchin’ growl on “Course Correction,” then morphs into an almost sensitive, empathetic whisper on “Dark Light of Seduction.” Sure, you heard hints of his vocal abilities on their 2012 record Sister Faith, but now you get a sense that he’s completely confident, as well as competent with his vocal sylings. Patterson’s vocals are mostly what keeps me coming back to this record, as his voice is in complete command of every track.
If you were hoping that Anxiety’s Kiss was going to be Goddamage Part II, you might be disappointed with this record. That being said, these are all very well-written songs, and this may go down as the best Coliseum offering yet.