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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Prog and Metal Hammer Album Reviews


The False Awakening

Have these British prog metallers made the debut album of the year?

Every week, it seems, there's a plethora of emerging bands who claim to be prog metal. It's an easy tag to hijack, isn't it? Just play metal with a vague idea of technique and dynamics, and voilĂ ! Thankfully though, their debut album proves there's so much more to Collibus. Firstly, this British four-piece have Gemma Fox, who has a stunning voice, capable of soaring yet also with an edge. She handles delicacy and punch with equal assurety. Guitarist Stephen Platt offers a vision reminiscent in places of Dream Theater's John Petrucci, but also delves into late 70s moments, inspired by Alex Lifeson and metal's die-hard masters. The real clincher here is that, despite their relative inexperience, the band already know how to marry instant tunefulness to their elaborate, sophisticated arrangements, and all with a mighty clout. Leave It All Behind, Break The Silence and The Hunted show what the band are truly capable of, and highlight Collibus' fast-emerging promise. In fact, The False Awakening will be seen as one of the year's best debut albums. It's a work that points the way to a future where they're regarded as one of the master prog metal bands of the era.

Malcolm Dome


The False Awakening

Parliament-invading rockers get nod from Queen

Mancunian progressive metallers Collibus have a great many thinks in their favour. Dr Brian May of Queen considers himself a fan, having praised both their "scary musicianship" and the "passion and power" of the group's singer Gemma Fox, and last year they became the first metal to perform live at the House Of Commons. A slot at this summer's Download is already confirmed. You'd expect them to pitch a sound that's several notches above the ranks of British hopefuls, and that's exactly what they do on an independently released debut album that reeks of future promise. Favouring a cleanly delivered vocal style, Gemma is a superb mouthpiece for the band's finely chiselled mix of metal, hard rock and classical-tinged influences. Despite the ambitious nature of certain selections - Spite and Leave It All Behind are nine and seven minutes long respectively - choruses are another key element of this band's appeal and the likes of Insurrection, The Fallen and the lighter-waving Break The Silence are bold, confident statements that leave a long-lasting memory. Watch them fly.

Dave Ling

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