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17.05.2019

FINAL COIL

The World We Left Behind For Others

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(WormHoleDeath, 2019)

Karakter: 4/6

FinalCoil_TheWorldWeLeftBehindForOthers.jpgBack in the early 90s when heavy metal was challenged and briefly defeated by one of the biggest trends in music, alternative rock/grunge, two bands immediately stood out from the trend, perhaps, arguably, because neither belonged there in the first place: Alice In Chains and Tool. Both bands didn't even start as alt rock/grunge but only some of their latter albums fit the bill while others oscilated between rock and metal. To date I have not heard of any band trying to combine Alice In Chains (AIC) and Tool under one stream of consciousness, this date being the day I first heard Final Coil's "The World We Left Behind For Others". The amalgamate is created both subtly and forcibly, even rubbing against plagiarism in one case, but why they are blatantly inconsistent when evidently able to deliver a masterpiece, is anyone's guess.

There's definitely a sense in which this British alternative rock/metal group, with a former member of a death metal ensemble Sarpanitum, Barry French, as a session drummer wanted to go above and beyond on their 2nd album since the 2008 formation. There's admittedly variety throughout, with 3 out of 12 tracks instrumentals. The Layne Stayley/Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) vocals of Phil Stiles (also rhythm & lead guitar, synth, programming, piano) and Richard Awdry (also lead guitar, programming, piano) evoke comparisons to Alice In Chains right from the first song proper, "The Last Battle" and the very good "Scattered Dust", with its sudden brief Mastodon-ian break and Life Of Agony's "Soul Searching Sun" punkish riffing, first introduces the AIC and Tool amalgamate, but the following songs make it clear that, while rhythmically as brilliant as Tool's Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones and Danny Carey, Final Coil cannot compete with AIC's Jerry Cantrell in songcraft brilliance. The album is full of unrealized potential from "Take Me For A Walk" to "...And I'll Leave" which is frustrating when you remember the likes of "You Waste My Time" from the debut, the likes of which you won't find on this follow up. What you will find is "Keeping Going", sure, a very good track, could be brilliant even, except it had already been written by Tool in 1991 and called "Sober". The resemblance is so uncanny, in no small part to the bass brilliance of Jola Stiles, it could very well cross the line if not for the fact that neither Phil or Richard sing remotely like Keenan, hence they do not inhabit that same vocal syncopation to match the music. Accordingly, up to the 10th track, this album deserves a strong 3, maybe 3.5 because of the very good production of Jonny Mazzeo and the Italian Mathlab Studios.

For a sprawling antiwar, socially conscious lyrical concept recalling motion pictures such as "4th Of July", "The Deer Hunter" or, especially, "Jacob's Ladder", or, at least to match the title, "The World We Left Behind For Others" had better have some truly outstanding progressive compositions or this is the end of my review. Thankfully, neither "Imaginary Trip" or the title track disappoint, becoming the two most ambitious creations on the record. The former recalls Fear Factory's "Timelessness", Machine Head's "The Burning Red", Nine Inch Nails' "The Great Divide" or, most accurately, Katatonia's "Departer", all of the above masterworks of incredible beauty, progression and emotional tension, in a word - epic. The latter is hands down the best thing Final Coil has ever done: a Swallow The Sun covering Nine Inch Nails by the way of Tool, where alt rock turns to bona fide doom metal. Again, why Final Coil saved all the best for last amids a mediocre affair boggles the mind.

Final Coil, whose debut album "Persistence Of Memory" married Depeche Mode-ian sensibilities with stylistic Alice In Chains, present a heavier affair on "The World..." but, if you don't count the last two tracks, not nearly as ambitious or earwormy as its predecessor. This album far from essential, I do recommend you give "Imaginary Trip" and the title track a listen in order to get a sense of what could have been an extraordinary progressive alt rock/metal meal instead of half-baked imaginary trip on the world they left behind for us.

https://finalcoilrock.bandcamp.com/


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