MANDROID ECHOS­TAR

Exclaim! - - AGGRESSIVE TENDENCIES -

Co­ral Throne

When it comes to pro­gres­sive mu­sic, lengthy run­times are of­ten enough to ward off lis­ten­ers. Opt­ing to write at more con­ven­tional lengths with­out sac­ri­fic­ing their pro­gres­sive metal might has set Guelph’s Mandroid Echos­tar apart. Nearly six years since their in­cep­tion, the band achieve this bal­ance on de­but full-length Co­ral Throne. A num­ber of tracks that don’t crack four min­utes leave their mark with mem­o­rable hooks and pow­er­ful cho­ruses, at times lean­ing more to­ward hard rock. Giv­ing th­ese com­po­si­tions wings with which to soar is vo­cal­ist Michael Cic­cia, lead­ing the charge with his ex­pres­sive de­liv­ery and ex­ten­sive range. And while ac­ces­si­bil­ity is in­deed one of the record’s key strengths, there’s enough prog metal mus­cle on dis­play for those im­pressed by tech­ni­cal skill, too. The crew shift time sig­na­tures and dy­nam­ics with ease on driv­ing first sin­gle “Pal­adin” and “Lotus,” show­case some bril­liantly writ­ten gui­tar­monies on “Iron Hands” and hold noth­ing back on the lengthy blowout fi­nale “Ze­los.” Six years in the mak­ing, the Guelph sex­tet are at last kings of their Co­ral Throne. (Dis­tort, teamdis­tort.com) CALUM SLINGER­LAND

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