It’s not often that a band can boast fans in Brain May, Malcom Dome, Alexander Milas and Andy Copping so early in their career, with The False Awakening however, the 14 track epic debut release from Manchester progressive metal act Collibus, after only one listen you realise just why they’ve all fallen for this band.
From the off your ears are treated to blistering prog metal that straddles both the artistic sentiments that define the genre and a commercial appeal that will see this band reaping rewards later on in the year – with a place on the bill of this year’s Download festival more than deserved. Complex and catchy, these songs were tailor made for the hallowed turf of Donnington Park.
"Dead Inside is lathered in a searing energy that ignites the track."
The grandiose intro track of Lie In Wait flows straight into a stabbing riff that underpins the early movements of Leave It All Behind. Its chorus and Gemma Fox’s overall vocal performance are truly outstanding, the passion and the fury crackling in her throat throughout. Despite the song veering off in all directions – as every good prog song should – it always remains focused on the task at hand, it always remains hugely entertaining.
Renowned within the band for his meticulous perfectionism, guitarist Stephen Platt proves just how virtuous patience can be on the album. With a tone that lends itself perfectly to any mood that it needs to portray, he mercilessly unleashes stunningly brutal riff after stunningly brutal riff while his soloing is flamboyant-yet-powerfully melodic and emotive. His playing alone would be enough to shift records and sell tickets but the fact it sits, alongside Gemma's gigantean vocals, as the centre piece to an extremely well produced and mixed collection of songs raises The False Awakening to a whole new level. Platt, who took on the producing duties himself, deserves a fair degree of credit here. With such a busy sound, completed by atmospheric synths and a skull rattling rhythm section, there is still room for the instruments to breathe.
Dead Inside, the album’s lead single is lathered in a searing energy that ignites the track, which includes another fine vocal performance and some magnificent Killswitch Engage inspired riffwork.
Break The Silence meanwhile, sees the band tapping into softer, ballad-esque territory; furthermore, it shows a band unafraid of broadening their musical horizons. Taking a menacing, demented twist as crunching, distorted guitars stomp to forefront of the mix; it remains unpredictable and leaves you utterly transfixed. It’s a track that represents the intellectual musicianship which drives the band and album. With every song, they know when to toy with the dynamics, flaunt with different rhythms and melodies before crashing back into a killer chorus or devastating riff. To sound this accomplished so instantaneously is incredible.
While the length of the album, being a debut, may put some people off, rest assured that there are no filler songs on here. With lashings of Dream Theater, Tool, Rush, Periphery and more, all coated in a distinctly individual sound and played with a fearless conviction, The False Awakening, in this writer, can claim itself another fan, another victim.
Words: Phil Weller
For more infomation on the band, head to http://collibus.com/