Coma Ghosts
EFFLORESCE

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EFFLORESCE - Coma Ghosts cover
3.82 | 7 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Progressive Metal

Tracklist

1. Crib (8:12)
2. Spectre Pt. 1: Zorya´s Dawn (10:34)
3. Pavement Canvas (8:58)
4. Undercoat (2:54)
5. Swimming through deserts (7:11)
6. Shuteye Wanderer (16:31)

Line-up/Musicians

- Nicki Weber / Vocals, Growls, Flutes, Percussion
- Dave Mola / Guitars, Mellotrons
- Sebastian Ott / Bass
- Tobi Süß / Drums
- Tim Ivanic / Guitars

About this release

Artwork design - Nicki Weber & Dave Mola
Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studio, Örebro - Sweden
Released on February 10th, 2012

Thanks to J-Man for the addition

EFFLORESCE MP3, Free Download/Stream

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EFFLORESCE COMA GHOSTS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

AtomicCrimsonRush
Effloresce is an energetic metal band fronted by vocalist Nicki Weber who at times sounds like the female vocalists of Goth bands Nightwish, After Forever and Epica, but also has some moments where she growls. When a woman growls in metal it really is quite startling, reminding me of the Asarte and Kittie growls, quite unsettling but as powerful as male vocalists. Niki also is talented in the musical field playing some scintillating flute and percussion. Her dominating prescence is of course obvious but Effloresce also have some great musicians with guitarist shredder Dave Mola, who also plays Mellotrons adding to the ethereal quality of the music. Sebastian Ott is on bass, Tobi Sub on drums and also Tim Ivanic plays guitars.

"Coma Ghosts" is not extreme in heavy thrashing but mostly has a steady measured tempo with some complex guitar riffs. It opens with the melodic 'Crib' where Niki stays on the crystal clear vocal technique. On 'Spectre Pt. 1: Zorya´s Dawn', a 10:34 shredfest, the guitars begin with intricate fast riffing and then it settles with measured cadence and some nice guitar interplay along with a strong bassline. This has a more progressive feel, with odd rhythm breaks and time sigs that shift in tempo. There are some Gothic resonances at 4:50 with choral voices, and then Niki begins screeching, quite a horrific sound but it darkens the mood well. Later more technical metal riffs crash through and then suddenly the lilting serenity of flute chimes in. There are enough chord progression changes and mood shifts to make this one of the most progressive songs on the album.

The inventiveness continues with 'Pavement Canvas', a 9 minute track with an ominous droning intro, that fades up with rhythmic percussion and guitar phrasing. The wind effects add to the atmosphere and then a chunky guitar riff plunges it into heavy territory. The drums launch in to precision blastbeats and there is a quirky fractured time sig. Eventually Niki's vocals chime in with beautiful resonance and later she reverts to the screechy style. The guitar riff is killer on this track and the lead break cranks along the disjointed tempo.

'Undercoat' is a short track with an ambient tranquility, swathes of keyboards and ghostly reverberations. The lead guitar soars beautifully over, making this one of the calmest tracks on the album. It is followed by 'Swimming Through Deserts', that opens with more gentle meandering guitars. Niki's voice flows along nicely, angelic and crystal clear, along with some narrative interjections in this ballad. This is the band in a contemplative mood, lilting and with a drifting lullaby feel.

'Shuteye Wanderer' is a 16 and a half minute epic to close the album. Dave Mola throws the anchor down with some fret melting guitar outbreaks; his lead hammers along with a blinding ferocity and fast bass and percussion. It settles after the breakneck opening into a soft tempo with Niki's sweet tones and strong ambient music. The guitars crash through overtaking this atmosphere and more scintillating lead breaks are accompanied by raspy growls. There is a fiery extended instrumental section with choppy rhythms moving from speed metal to crawl and back to peaceful passages. The mood swings are wonderful, maintaining interest throughout. The flute returns and brings things to a pastoral change in the atmosphere. A rumbling roar of thunder cracks the silence and it builds with a portentous vibe, as Niki's gorgeous vocals interject at 9 and a half minutes in. eventually the guitars unleash their fury and the drums move into hyperspeed mode until it all breaks into tranquility and an angelic vocal. This track is a genuine delight, with some of the more innovative structures from the band.

To conclude, the album delivers the right dosage of heavy guitar thrash with keyboard ambiance, growls are used in the heavier sections and are quite brutal yet Niki is capable of pure beauty and choses this operatic style for the most part. The guitars are incredible on the album, especially the huge lead solos, and it is all capped off by precision technicality on bass and drums. The result is a great album full of sound and fury signifying prog metal bliss.
dtguitarfan
One of the first things I thought as I listened to this album was "these guys sound like...Fates Warning mixed with Epica...no, that's not it...not at all...." I was immediately struck by this sense of familiarity, and yet I could not put my finger on particular influences. This is a good thing. Another impression I had during the first song was that I felt like I was in a movie - a very dramatic one. The whole album was not like this, however, but the band played with changing syncopated rhythm patterns, thunderous drums, and driving guitar rhythms throughout. They even have a jazzier side that they demonstrate in Swimming Through Desserts. The album ends with a great 16 minute epic that is worth the cost of the album alone. This is an excellent choice for any fan or female-fronted metal, and I can say that this is an excellent addition to my collection that I will come back to again and again.
Conor Fynes
'Coma Ghosts' - Effloresce (8/10)

Some months ago, I was introduced to Effloresce through their first- and at the time only- release, an EP that instantly screamed a fusion of the most trademarked elements of both Dream Theater and Opeth. While I was impressed with Effloresce's musical ability and even some of their songwriting chops, I ultimately felt that the band had fallen short in terms of creating a lasting musical experience, thanks in no small part due to the derivative nature of their sound. As female-fronted bands in metal go, Effloresce were certainly one of the better acts I had had the pleasure of hearing, but I wondered if they would ultimately go down in history as 'that Opeth band with the female vocalist'. 'Coma Ghosts' is now their start in the world of full-length recordings, an hour of progressive metal which has seen some much-desired improvement in the areas where I thought the band could use some work. Although their influences are still evident, I can say that Effloresce has broken out of the Opeth-worship pit that I feared would swallow them, and in doing so, have created one of the strongest prog metal albums to come out lately.

At least one thing I mentioned when reviewing the EP still stands: while I have generally seen the female-fronted metal band to be a format that favours bands who sacrifice instrumental integrity in order to make their vocalist the centre of attention, Effloresce has always been a band that enjoys a well-rounded contribution from all musicians. Vocalist Nicki Weber's voice plays a central role in Effloresce's music, but a sense of instrumental complexity sets this band apart from the legions of cookie-cutter symphonic metal bands that have stigmatized the female-fronted approach. Not only that, but Weber's incredibly melodic voice works very well for the music that Effloresce does. Although the riffs and thunderous drum work seems to take a hint from the European melodic death world, Weber's higher pitched, near-operatic delivery soars over without ever pushing the instruments into the background. This may be in part due to the legendary Dan Swano's expert mixing of the album, but Effloresce have cleverly avoided falling into some of the ruts I may have once suspected for them.

The songwriting and arrangement on 'Coma Ghosts' is nothing short of ambitious. Effloresce are still something of a disciple of the prog-death powerhouses Opeth, but their music feels valid and relevant to the current metal scene. From more mellowed-out jazz tunesmanship ('Swimming Through Deserts') or death metal intensity ('Pavement Canvas') or even that welcome prog metal archetype, the 16 minute epic, Effloresce root themselves very firmly within the 'prog metal' school. Given the aging prog metal canon in 2012, some of the risks that Effloresce take feel superfluous, such as having a 'Part 1' to the second track 'Spectre' and implying a sequel in the next album. Where Effloresce strikes gold however is in their tasteful melange of bands that proggers will instantly identify, but using those disparate elements in order to create something that feels relatively fresh. An excellent album, and it's a pleasure to see the potential I first heard in Effloresce to blossom like this.
J-Man
Although the German progressive metal scene has plenty of established veterans like Sieges Even, Vanden Plas, and Mekong Delta, the country hasn't had too many young voices to carry the torch in recent years. Judging by their killer debut album, Effloresce may very well be the next big progressive metal export from Germany - Coma Ghosts shows a band with a very firm grasp on how to deliver amazing prog metal while still pushing the boundaries of the genre, and the fact that this level of maturity is obtained on a debut album is admirable. In short, Coma Ghosts is a professional, memorable, and original observation that should be satisfying metal fans well into 2012 and beyond!

Opeth, particularly on albums like Blackwater Park and Watershed, is clearly a large influence to Effloresce. While their sound is not entirely dependent on these Swedish veterans, the mix of 70's progressive rock, melodic death metal, and folk found throughout much of Coma Ghosts makes the reference almost inevitable. Effloresce makes their main distinction from Opeth by keeping the death metal influences to a minimum, and instead including more traditional-sounding progressive metal sections as well as an occasional gothic atmosphere. Female vocalist Nicki Weber also helps give Effloresce a voice of their own, and her powerful clean pipes and occasional black metal-styled rasps are an integral part of the band's style. Although I tend to think that her harsh vocals could've been integrated into the music a bit more convincingly and delivered with more power, it's a rather minor flaw in the long run since the majority of the vocals here are excellent clean singing.

While the Opeth comparison is rather invalid throughout much of the album (songs like "Crib" bear little resemblance to the Swedes), a song like "Swimming Through Deserts" could very well be the creation of Mikael Akerfeldt with the addition of a beautiful soprano vocalist. The 70's-styled progressive rock with a jazzy, folky, and slightly twisted edge will strike a chord with many prog metal listeners, and Effloresce delivers this style just as convincingly as they do when it comes to pummeling metal riffs. Coma Ghosts is one of those rare cases where, even though I'm able to identify plenty of obvious influences in the music, the style is still wholly original. The strength of the composition and execution is what makes Coma Ghosts a truly worthwhile experience, however, and in addition to crafting exceptionally well-written pieces of music, the musicianship is exceptional across the board. Although Effloresce may be relatively new to the scene, their craft as musicians is never questioned on this album.

As an additional bonus, Coma Ghosts was mixed and mastered by Swedish metal legend Dan Swanö of Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, and Bloodbath fame, so you can expect an absolutely killer sound to top things off. Though the relatively unimpressive harsh vocals and occasionally overtly Opethian influence may keep many listeners from calling this a masterpiece, there are still more than enough assets to make this a remarkable album. Effloresce have gotten off on the right foot with this excellent debut offering, and I'll be ecstatic to hear what they have up their sleeves in the coming years. When December rolls around, I have a feeling this will be praised not only as one of the year's most impressive debuts, but also as one of 2012's best progressive metal records - it really is that good! My rating here will be 4 big stars, as well as an easy recommendation to fans of the more organic and melancholic side of prog metal. This is a must-hear if you're into progressive metal that rarely relies on the 'traditional' sound pioneered by the likes of Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Queensryche.

Members reviews

Gallifrey
Effloresce – “Coma Ghosts”

12/20

47th place album of the year 2012

For some reason, 2012 has been filled with female fronted albums. 13 of my top 50 have a female vocalist. Although technically that number should be 25, there never have been a great abundance in my area of music. This is the only one, however, with unclean vocals done by a female vocalist, which is always interesting, but luckily for me, they are scarce and only really used for good effect.

The opener, “CRIB”, has a wonderful opening vocal line and never really loses its energy throughout. Effloresce do a good job to keep their brand of prog metal interesting, without losing too much in solos or breaks in vocals. Vocalist Nicki is also one of the better female vocalists on the list, and really knows how to make a good hook. The growled parts are interesting, and are used in great contrast to the cleans, especially well done in the chorus of “Pavement Canvas”.

Recommended for progressive metal fans, particularly Epica, although Effloresce don’t have the symphonic aspect.

Originally posted on my facebook page/blog http://www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

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