Friday, July 22, 2011

Album Review: The Coma Recovery - Goddverb

Of all the things that come out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, spacy-progressive-post-rock group The Coma Recovery is certainly one of the most unique. A recent Deep Elm-sign on, the musical influence and developed style of the band takes the new album, Goddverb, to very dark places in the genre of post-rock at times, but can also be much more uplifting and light than comparative artists as well.

The first track, "Red Lightning Child / Great Emptiness", opens with gusto, drums beating on everything beatable, while the bass hits some intensely strong notes and the distorted guitars wail away on pitch bend tremolos. A synthesizer comes into the mix, being used in sync with a clean guitar for a fantastically creative melodic line. Much of the new album relies on heavy usage of synths in order to create a light or dark futuristic atmosphere, which stands out especially on this track because it's being used as a melodic device, as opposed to sitting in the background and setting the overall tune, which is a really cool way for the band to show off their creativity and to experiment with something that hasn't really appeared in post-rock. Towards the middle of the track, the textures from all the varied sounds really blend together in a fantastic chorus, and it appears again in a bridge later on, changing the mood from something wistful into something bright, flamboyant, and utterly brilliant. At the outro, however, the song starts to sound as it began, with the powerful chords and guitar tremolos, fading away, until only the blazing synth remains, and ultimately, dissipates.

"Goddverb", the fourth track on the album, ends with a really cool progressive distorted guitar line, used as a theme throughout the beginning, with just about every other instrument echoing the lick, or some variation. As the bass starts to do its own progressive jam, a heavily reverbed guitar and a synth create some really cool ethereal effects to transition, and the band moves into a breakdown that sounds oddly similar to Mogwai's "San Pedro", with so much shared power and compositional skill. The breakdown feels really cathartic, and emotion starts to seep away as the band approaches a softer bridge, but then builds up with powerful drum hits, and with the synth and guitar ablaze once again, the buildup has as much potential energy as a rock on a hill, as the song breaks into the beginning guitar lick, and then into a beautiful cathartic breakdown for a final time. An incredible amount of sheer force screams out of the guitar amps as the song moves into its outro, the guitars themselves resembling metal gods more than stringed instruments. What I can only describe as a futuristic headbanging section is incurred as yet another guitar asserts itself to the foreground amidst the chaos, laying down one final minor-keyed melody, as the song explodes on one final, awe-inspiring chord.

I really have to say, I've not heard anything even remotely close to what The Coma Recovery introduced to post-rock. That is to say, it's progressed so far that I'm not entirely sure established bands will be able to keep up. There's so much really cool stuff going on in this album, this intensely long review doesn't even do it justice. This record surprised me in the best of ways, offering leagues beyond what I was expecting, which was a lot. Deep Elm definitely scored when signing this band, I can't wait to see what happens in the future.

You can check out the band on their, follow them on their facebook page, and as of July 20th, the album is in stores!

Track Listing:
1) Red Lightning Child / Great Emptiness
2) Liberator
3) Opener
4) Goddverb
5) Illuminator

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