Sound: 'Colours' is the third full length by the Finnish thrash/speed metal legends 'Stone' and the first to feature Markku "Nirri" Niiranen on guitar. It is often said that the band started to lose its grip with the release of this album, but is that really the case? I think this album perhaps even topped their sophomore masterpiece No Anaesthesia', which certainly isn't the most common opinion. The first two albums by the band clearly reflect that they were having a lot of fun with the songs. Colours is certainly a more serious album than those first two albums, but gaining maturity is a natural process for any musician, which of course should reflect the music as well. At least if the musician stays true to his music. 'Colours' is a step towards a more complex and technical style for the band.
The album fades in with the bass intro of one of my favourite album-openers ever; Stone Cold Soul', a very perverted and thrashy song about a pedofile. Although the first song is perhaps the best of the whole album, it doesn't mean the album isn't a masterpiece (think about 'Battery' from 'Master of Puppets' or 'Over The Wall' from 'The Legacy'). The second song 'Another Morning' is a rather headbangable tune, but not among the strongest of the album. If you thought it would be a steady downhill from there, you are mistaken; White Worms is a song that certainly surprised me with its incredible eerie and creepy atmosphere even the first time I heard it. The rest of the album feeds the atmosphere and even manages to end it in a terrific cover. There are weaker points to the album as well, like 'Ocean of Sand', but even that song is made great by an awesome chorus, nice solos and a few great riffs. I'm not usually a big fan of thrash cover songs, especially as album-closers, but their cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Friends' really works. Such a great choice for a cover by the band, and they certainly made it their own.
The sound of this album is actually perhaps not quite as good as on No Anaesthesia, but it's still very good and serves the album brilliantly. There's really nothing to complain in this aspect of the record. One of the finest things about the album are the solos. Roope Latvala certainly doesn't dissapoint and Markku Niiranen shows that he's a worthy replacement for Jiri Jalkanen. If you want thrash with good solos, 'Colours' and pretty much anything by 'Stone' is the way to go. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics still show that they haven't lost that trademark tongue in the cheek approach, but there's also much more seriousness to them than before. I think the lyrics have definitely improved since 'No Anaesthesia' and Janne Joutsenniemi still writes about very un-stereotypical thrash subjects. The vocals are very much the same to the vocals on 'No Anaesthesia', which means that they're perhaps some of the heaviest thrash vocals ever. There's still a noticeable Finnish accent in Janne's vocals, but to me it only adds fuel for the atmosphere! There's also plenty of great gang-vocal parts in the songs. I must admit that Janne's vocals didn't appeal much to me at first, but after a few listens I simply loved them. // 9
Overall Impression: Colours' is a very atmospheric album, which is exactly why it's my personal favourite by the band. No other thrash album has such a gloomy atmosphere. It certainly lives up to the simple, yet epic, twisted and gloomy cover-art.
Sure, 'Colours' lacks in the youthful energy that is unquestionably present on the first two albums, but that doesn't make it worse. This album reflects the hardships and the pressure the band went through at the time and like so often, the true masterpieces are written during harsh times. I understand why this album doesn't appeal to some, but the reason it speaks to me is because it goes deeper than the vast majority of thrash albums. // 10