The Brooklyn Metal/Hardcore/Jazz/Fusion/Alternative returns with its “comeback” release ‘While they were sleeping.’ The Band had been inactive since the tour for their post van accident album ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’. That album introduced a lot of newer elements. Most notably in the song “remove yourself,” which was more of a straight of rock track that the Metal/Hardcore/Hip Hop/Jazz blended music the band had been known for playing years in the underground NYC area clubs (amongst the metal and hardcore scenes).
There was a lot of confusion over direction in the Candiria camp, in which several members exited and re-entered the band several times while working on the next album, which would be released by the label without consulting with the band, 2009’s ‘Kiss the Lie’. The album featured a very alternative style, which due to the way the album was released never did enough to ruffle the band’s hardcore fan base. The band reunited at the Black and Blue Bowl in NYC in 2015, featuring a new drummer Dan who was a student of long time founding drummer Kenneth Schalk.
After a few reunion shows, the band announced they were working on a new album, ‘While they were sleeping’, which is what brings us here today. Having a long lineage of metal albums with jazz and hip hop interlude/sections with their trademark odd time signatures, you know to expect some bizarre stuff to appear on a Candiria Album, and this does not fail to deliver. One of the key things to remember is a lot happened between ‘What Doesn’t kill you’ and this album, and it’s influence is all over this album. While there are parts that you know off the bat are the signature Candiria sound we’ve all grown to love, one may be thrown off a bit by sections with largely clean sung vocals, and that’s over heavy riffs too. It becomes clear over the course of the album that the band’s dabbling in many different side projects, whether they were rock or alternative, their influences are all over this album.
I enjoyed ‘Kiss the Lie’ and there’s no denying that part of that style carried onto this album. A good barometer of what you’re in for with this album is the lead single “Mereya” which has a lot of clean sung vocals into classic Carley Coma style, then out of the blue comes in this Jazz-y part that’s inclusion works in a Mr. Bungle-esque way. The rest of the album showcases the musicianship the band is known for that’s got the attention of people like Rob of Metallica and Mark of Periphery. Odd styles aside, I think even with the interesting style changes, there’s enough of the old Candiria here that will make anyone happy they picked this up.
My only beef with the album is that while he did contribute to writing some songs, Ken Schalk does not appear on the album. He’s a huge force of a drummer and while his long time student Dan does a great job, his drummer style at times tends to lead a little more metal, where as Ken would change it up stylistically and throw a jazz beat, or something with a different bounce that worked in a great different way.
Bottom Line: It’s great to hear from Candiria again. Much like Dillinger Escape Plan’s release, this feels like it pulls from a majority of the band’s career sound and stylistically. I think this is a record that doesn’t just pander as some reunion record for fans only, the style swaps show a more mature Candiria that has more appeal to a new generation, without forgetting what got them here.
Notable Tracks: Mereya, While they were sleeping, One of you will betray me, Forgotten