If the previous album from this Norwegian progressive metal band made anything absolutely clear, then that must be that they are a force to be reckoned with. And this time they seem to have dug a little deeper and came up with Coal. Pardon this bad joke, but let me tell you, this music is not. In fact this may just be one of the most exiting things I have heard lately. And looking back, that bar is raised high!
So why is that? Well, while Bilateral is a stunning album with a lot of madness that was held together by a keen ear for infectious melodies, to some extent that crazy stuff seems more balanced this time. This allows the various band members to shine even more. Though I must say I think the star is singer (and keyboarder) Einar Solberg. Not only for his range, but also because he is able to weave addictive vocal lines to the often complex music and off beat rhythms. Which in itself is worth a compliment. And if you think by reading this that this might just be too much for you, well, in my humble opinion any serious lover of things progressive should be able to love this. Such is the appeal and seduction of this. And should you need a reference, I am tempted to say Devin Townsend, because that madman also succeeds in finding a balance between intrigue and attraction. A small word of warning, Ihsahn guests on vocals in Contaminate and that may not be of everyone´s liking. But as he also made the string arrangements for Chronic, I feel no need to complain 🙂 Brilliant once again!