Monday, April 30, 2012

Coma Stereo - 1000 Mest (2012)

I have no idea what is the weather situation in the place where my readers live, but here it is so hot all of a sudden that I can barely think straight. Pity for all of those who have to go out today, so instead  that I recommend that you check out this review and hopefully you decide to enjoy a ride to the far corners of the galaxy with this band, definitely colder there than here.

Once again we meet with "Kapa Records", a label from Slovenia which was already indirectly mentioned on this blog. Namely, this record label has previously released "The Canyon Observer" album which was reviewed in November last year. In case you missed that write-up you can check it out here. What we have here in front of us now is the newest material coming from the four piece space rock band named "Coma Stereo". Yet another project coming from Slovenia, though this one has a fair bit of history behind it. The guys started playing way back in 2004 and, counting "1000 Mest", this is their third album. I have been really surprised by this band when the promoter contacted me about a review, mostly because they already have eight years behind them and I wasn't aware of their existence and then being surprised even further once I heard how amazing this band is. The band also has a really great number of shows in its resume, so how they eluded me is beyond my comprehension.
"1000 Mest" came out on February 18 this year in vinyl and download format. Andraž, promoter at "Kapa Records", was kind enough to send me the actual record copy of this album even before the material was released and I really have to apologize for my slow response, since I obviously took my time a bit too long. When he mentioned this project to me I immediately took a listen and was very much intrigued by what I heard. This release brings us ten songs and from start to finish it's just plain enjoyment and a really great ride. The opening track called "Črna jutra" manages to set your mood perfectly and opens the door to a superb space rock jam. "Coma Stereo" makes good use of electronic sound effects for that mood-setting, swinging between being eerie and grim to something highly epic and wonderful. While listening to this record, most of my time was spent analyzing the synthesizer sections which, although seeming same in tone, have a nice array of diversity in sound, ranging from sounding like heavy industrial machinery to tunes reminding me of old Nintendo or arcade games. The song composition also has a sort of duality, some parts are really cheery while others sound like there is nothing but dread and despair around the listener. There is one thing that I really have to praise about song structure and that is the band's ability to make a superb use of buildups. All songs have something that sounds like there is some growth in sound, either in the form of the pace being increased or slight changes of mood or even the very melodies becoming more and more complex each second. This is really hard to explain properly, but I presume that you will figure out what I wanted to say when you take a listen. Personally, this album made me sit on the edge of my chair nonstop and sensing that tension in music was excellent.
An interesting feature of "1000 Mest" is also the fact that there is a nice number of both instrumental tracks and those with vocals. It is worth noting that the songs, in general, have quite a deep tone with bass playing being in the spotlight a lot and everything has a sort of crackly, crude sound. In contrast to that, the vocal adds a completely new layer to a particular song since it is very gentle, melodic and almost sounding as if the singer is weeping. This really makes the entire album quite intriguing and you can listen to it multiple times in a row and continually discover new aspects of it.
As I said before, this band and this release in particular came to me as a huge surprise and I am extremely happy that I discovered their work. I am yet to take a listen to their work prior to "1000 Mest", but I am certain that talent and creativity is not lacking on those. As much as I saw on the band's website, located here, they have a couple of shows lined up and they are pretty much alive. Once again I would like to thank Andraž for both introducing me to "Coma Stereo" and for having loads of patience for me to finish this review. Definitely check out the page of "Kapa Records" found here, this is a label supporting some excellent projects. Hope you liked the review and enjoy the tunes!

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