By Professor Jocko

It’s been said that certain styles repeat themselves every 20 years or so; this can be said of clothing, hair, social trends...and even music. Although Lo-Pan is on their forth studio release, and needs not to invent themselves, "Colossus" seems to possess the musical characteristics of the early 90’s alternative sounds made famous by the pioneers of that time. Not as much with the lyrics, but more with the rhythmic patterns of the vocals and supporting music that bring layered melodies with a heavy edge and driving beat to the table. Many of the alternative bands that reached their peak in the 90’s are still performing, but most are catering to the same fans that grew up on their music. A few notable bands such as Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots for instance, have bridged the generation gap, but most 90’s hard rock bands are not relevant to this generation of hard rock fans.

This Ohio-based band is geared towards the modern metal fan that prefers a heavy dose of melody shrouded over a steady groove, rounded out by electronic elements that serve to accent but never overpower the overall bluesy feel. One of the hardest things for American bands is to be unique; there are a number of bands that have a similar sound in any given genre, but Lo-Pan has a sound is instantly recognizable even if you are hearing a song for the first time. The album starts out with “Regulus,” a great rockin’ opener that made me very optimistic about the rest of the tracks on the LP. I was further rewarded with the next song, “Land Of The Blind.” This song has pumping guitar and rock steady drumming which compliments Skot Thompson’s bass lines with a bluesy backbeat.

Further songs on the album like “Marathon Man” and “Vox”, which features Jason Alexander Byers on vocals help to keep the tempo and energy up. This seems to reinforce what the band is trying to achieve here, where the music is allowed to breathe a little, and not so confined as a few of the previous tracks are. However, “Eastern Seas” has that dark feel which really showcases the vocal talent of Jeff Martin as a staple of how to incorporate a gritty feel that is infused with melody which serves as a fierce statement that this band intends to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of rock. This is probably my favorite track on the album which is a slower tempo song with a rumbling bass line and a driving groove with some good build ups, which separates itself from the rest of the album.