It’s starting to become apparent to me that Canada-land is a magical place where musical sprites abound. Upon beginning my adventure into Coral Throne, an overjoyed sound emanated involuntarily from my body, comparable to the Pillsbury Dough Boy when he’s prodded by a relatively large hand. While Frank Zappa might be reluctant to call this album “progressive,” he doesn’t really have a lot of say these days anyway, so I’ll go ahead and describe this album as progressive modern rock-core, core being a word I like to use because it infuriates just the right people.
While some might consider it lazy to describe a band’s sound by comparing it to another band right off the bat, this isn’t baseball. I don’t think Canadians even play baseball, which, who can blame them? The upbeat nature of Mandroid’s riffages mixed with the Cirque du Soleil fret acrobatics is reminiscent of fellow Maple Leaf sonic troopers Protest The Hero. Specifically, it’s the thrashy (I know that might not be the best word to use, Zappa. Get off my case, please) rock rhythms mixed with staccato, lead-writing performed as a rhythm guitar part that syncs up with the double bass pedal drumming that gives the music its distinct sound. Ultimately this all makes it easily identifiable within a few moments of aural exposure, as are the high tenor vocals singing about all things majestic and metaphorical.
“Paladin” might be the most memorable track for me because its opening riff is an ear worm that’s complimented by double time drums that ALMOST sound… I feel like I have to word this carefully… It’s almost quarky, but when it goes to cut time, it becomes a type of heavy that’s a cross between epic and just a tint of dark that resolves ever optimistically when it returns later in the song. Wrap your mind around that OR just listen to the song. If you’re confronted with the opportunity to buy an overpriced coffee this week, I hope you buy this album instead. It’s much more satisfying and leaves your breathe smelling fresher.
02. The Lotus
04. Sacred Fire
06. Violet Skies
08. Midnight Sun
09. Iron Hands
Run Time: 45:14
Release Date: January 15, 2016
Check out the song “Paladin” here.