Candiria – While They Were Sleeping (Metal Blade)

Tuesday, 18th October 2016
Rating: 7/10

Have to wonder if the While They Were Sleeping album title is in some reference to Candiria’s horrific 2002 van accident where the band was rear-ended by a tractor trailer as the band was asleep in the back. Miraculously, all parties survived, although the injuries sustained by some of the members will unfortunately be permanent. Since then, Candiria has had stalled output and some lineup alterations, and were last heard from via 2009’s Kiss the Lie. However, Metal Blade has saw fit to snap up the forward-thinking fusion crew in a time when genre bending is now the norm, not an anomaly when Candiria were really making headway.

The fusion element of Candiria circa the ‘90s was certifiably innovative, with the band merging metal, hardcore, punk, jazz, and hip-hop. Now, it’s that much of a reach to trot out such a disparate range of influences, but on an album like 1997’s Beyond Reasonable Doubt, it was true “before it’s time” stuff. On While They Were Sleeping, Candiria are still operating in a petri dish, serving up some jazz sections (complete with horns) on “Mereya,” while working in flute on “Wandering Light.” And per his past vocal acrobats, Carley Coma is regularly volleying between acerbic barks, smooth cleaning singing, and fast rhymes, sometimes in the span of a single song.

But, While They Were Sleeping feels like the metal/hardcore world has long caught up to what Candiria was doing in the past. There are a few moments where the band’s once-blunt hardcore edge feels a smidge stunted, like on “The Cause,” but that could be a product of Candiria trying to expand their horizons even more. True to form, Candiria present an array of options on While They Were Sleeping, but the snap and excitement that once so guided the band through genre-bending isn’t as commanding as it once was.

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