Coma Lies NC - The Great Western Basin
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: April 14, 2010
Coma Lies NC have walked a long and arduous path to record and release their debut album, The Great Western Basin. After traveling to the US to record, losing a vocalist and no doubt parting ways with everything they had, it shows just how much of themselves the Newcastle five-piece have sacrificed to make this album.
Recorded in California with Steve Evetts (Poison the Well, Every Time I Die), The Great Western Basin is ten tracks of furious metalcore offset by a couple of glorious, often lengthy atmospheric passages. The contrast of the two styles is the key to their sound, and what pushes them above and beyond many of Australia’s heavy acts. Diversity is a word not often used to describe their peers.
The ominous bass line which opens the album should draw the attention of fans of sludge metal; while those who prefer a faster pace are relieved soon after as the guitarists join the title track. As the opening track builds, it transfers smoothly into “Natural Selection”, bringing Reece Moon’s tearing vocals and a few breakneck guitar riffs to really introduce you to Coma Lies NC. “Max Cady” delivers a hectic assault which would please fans of both The Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die, whilst still leaning heavily on breakdowns to set the rhythm.
Just as the pummeling, relentless metalcore reaches its peak, “We Are Thorns” releases the tension of its politically-fueled frustrations to delve into ambient post-rock. These moments of silence from Moon deliver just as much substance as his deep, raspy growl, and are essential to the atmosphere of the album.
“Calendars” and “The Beggar” deliver more distressed fretwork, while the tracks are separated by the epic, moving “Bhuvan”, which draws comparisons to some of Isis’ lighter work. “Ravenous” closes out the album with some of the heaviest breakdowns on the album, as if to ensure the album has been pounded into the listener’s head.
There is no doubt Coma Lies NC have thrown everything they had into The Great Western Basin, and it was more than worth it. The album shows originality, passion, and the potential to reach many pleased ears; if only the right people will listen.