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(67:18, Progressive Gears)
TRACK LIST: 1. Mirage 7:49 2. Transmission 6:44 3. Jomolungma Is Far Away 8:49 4. Yellow Escape 6:17 5. Dream 13:46 6. Stillborn 7:47 7. Turn Back Time 6:52 8. Lost 9:14 LINEUP: Juby Thomas - keyboards Udayan Kashalikar - bass, vocals Tom Borah - vocals, guitars Gaurav Govilkar - guitars Anupam Panda - drums, percussion
Prolusion. Indian band COMA ROSSI was formed back in 2014, and from their home base in Bangalore, India they have worked diligently since then to create material suitable for a debut album. At the end of 2018 this debut album appeared, simply called "Coma Rossi", and was self released as a digital album by the band. Shortly after the album was picked up by Irish label Progressive Gears, and made available in CD format.
Analysis. While Coma Rossi is a band based in India, their music is by and large of a marked western orientation. This isn't a band or an album to explore if you desire to experience Indian culture meeting progressive rock, as this is a production with an undeniable British feel to it. A relatively modern day one at that too, not too many elements of the totality hear brings forth associations towards music made prior to 1990. Their approach to progressive rock is one that will sound familiar for many fans of bands such as Porcupine Tree and Pineapple Thief. Not that Coma Rossi are all that similar to either of them in overall sound, but certain elements and certain manners in which to create and arrange material will undeniably be familiar. One might say that Coma Rossi exist in something of a parallel universe to the aforementioned bands. Most of the songs tends to ebb and flow quite a bit, often with elegant, flowing passages paired off against a harder, tighter and darker toned one. Easygoing, indie-flavored progressive rock seguing into or developing to become harder edged arrangements, often with a distinct progressive metal bite to them at that. The guitar obviously a key instrument in these transformations, but also the use of layered and textured keyboard and synthesizer sounds have a role to play there. In some songs, the piano is used to good effect to both emphasize the more careful nature of the softer passages as well as to include a gentler detail in the harder edged sequences. The vocals are soft, sometimes clear and clean, sometimes more distant and sleepy, on occasion more emotionally laden. The latter of these is perhaps one of the weaker aspects of this album as a whole, as the vocals in some of those parts strikes me as trying to cover perhaps a bit more ground than what the voice has the range to master to perfection. A minor point though, especially as this is an album focusing more on instrumental sections and somewhat less on passages with lead vocals as the dominant trait. In the subtle detail department I note that the band use rhythms very well, and that there's probably elements of those that does testify to the cultural origins of the band. Some of the bass lines also gives me such associations, alongside some tonal choices here and there. Hardy ever in an overt manner though, and not to the extent that one could state that only a band from India would have chosen to use such details. And while such details are present, I'd argue that the use of textured instrument motifs, occasional nods towards post-rock included, as well as the use of occasional cosmic effects and space rock tinged guitar solo details are more dominant and distinct traits.
Conclusion. There are many bands out there that explore different variations of what some people have dubbed new progressive rock these days. Bands that have taken direct and indirect inspiration from the likes of Porcupine Tree, Pineapple Thief, Radiohead and others. I'd suggest that those that tend to enjoy the first two of those bands in particular would have a fairly good chance to enjoy the landscapes that Coma Rossi have chosen to explore. A strong and promising debut album.
Progmessor: May 19th, 2019
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