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Quite awake, on the contrary... - 83%

Empyreal, December 8th, 2009

Eidolon has put out a lot of albums, but nobody seems to ever talk about them. Why? What could they possibly have done to incite such a veritable invisibility? I see no reason why they shouldn’t be known for albums as flat-out enjoyable as Coma Nation.

These guys play a heavy, fast style of Power Metal with a huge dose of kinetic, Earth-shaking riffs that are positively addicting once you get past the initial sameness of the compositions. At first this album will probably seem a little bland, as the production is a bit dry and the vocals are as reedy and limited as they come, but really, this is just classic Power Metal brought up to modern speed, owing heavily to everyone from Iron Maiden to Running Wild. No one influence dominates under the almost futuristic style of the atmosphere at hand, and that’s another thing that’s cool about this – it’s like a soundtrack to being hunted down by the Predator, or some other kind of bounty hunter. The riffs have this mighty, confident groove to them that just scream war and combat of a mechanical kind. Truly, it becomes addictive, once the listener allows its bladed teeth to sink in.

So, yeah, the main draw here is just the kick-ass riffing and leads. It’s like if you distilled everything from Angel Dust except their guitar parts and then formed a new band around them. I have not heard any other Eidolon material before this, but they have obviously mastered their riff-craft to a fine, polished sheen. These riffs are crunchy, speedy and addictive as crack cocaine. They gallop along with a hungry, metallic bite and ensnare all who cross their path. All of the songs are good, really; naming standouts is pretty futile. The title track is ball-busting good, with a catchy chorus to match the riffs, and then later on we get the ass-kicking “Hunt You Down,” the epic “Pentacle Star” and the mean, stomping “From Beyond.”

The real point of interest is the whopping 18 minute monster riff-festival “Within the Gates.” This song is just insane, as literally all 18 minutes are comprised of the smoking riffs and ghostly leads that we have come to know the band for over the course of the album. There are a lot of time changes and different riffs that add to the epic atmosphere, and it makes the rest of the album look like a fucking appetizer in comparison. The songwriting on this is just superb, and this one song is proof of that – just the fact that they wrote a song like this and maintained interest for the entire thing is incredible.

This isn’t perfect, as the vocals are notably weak, without much range or character to them, but he does an alright job for what it is. He could be a lot worse, and you do get used to him with multiple listens. Overall, though, Eidolon delivers a strong, viable album of riffy, energetic and well-written metal music with Coma Nation, and you should wake up and go listen to this fucker if this is your kind of music.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com