Eidolon - Coma Nation

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Metal Blade
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:54:00

I'm sure in the minds of Eidolon that they had a vision a few years ago to be the best band that they could possibly be and with Coma Nation Eidolon are well on their way to achieving this goal. The departure of vocalist Brian Soulard allowed the arrival of Pat Mulock who has given Eidolon's trademark thrash elements [the space] to open up considerably [so as] to encompass a straighter power metal feel, whilst at the same time exploring different musical avenues.

So, firstly, what of Mulock? My first impression was not good. It's not that he sounded off key, it was just I felt his voice didn't fit in with the music. After having the disc on background for a few spins it became a lot clearer as time moved on. He is definitely a step in the right direction for Eidolon, but as the ultimate replacement? Time will tell. [He's since moved on, replaced by Nils K. Rue -PW ed.] If you like the sound of Dave Mustaine (ex-Megadeth), Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Jeff Waters (Annihilator), and a touch of early James Hetfield (Metallica) then you have a vocalist who has passion and an innate ability to astound. He does lack a little bit of variation and sounds dry on a couple of notes ("Scarred," "The Pentacle Star," and "Hunt You Down") but this could be teething problems more than anything else.

So, where does that leave us? Ahh, yes, the music. I want to say that this is some of the most cleverly ambitious and entertaining power metal I have heard recently. It's certainly hard and heavy with an almost non-stop barrage of work by drummer Shawn Drover - the song "Scarred" shows his amazing ability. Add to that Shawn's brother Glen (g) whose work of driving, bombarding riffs and truly inspiring solos add what I would consider an overwhelming sense of achievement. He is superb - there's no other word for it. Coma Nation sees Glen covering a lot of metal territory from the dark and self-indulgent to power and thrash but it's heavy and crunchy and most importantly creative. Whilst I have heard their previous album Nightmare World I missed out on Hallowed Apparition, but the change in momentum and power from Nightmare World to this has truly astounded me.

The production gives room for manoeuvre for all of the instruments, and each can be heard perfectly. There's no muddy sounds that drown out the other instruments. Coma Nation is diverse in song structure but not always in song style (they are all pretty heavy) from the mid-tempo power drives of "Lost Voyage" to the massacre-bound wraths of "Hunt You Down" and "A Day Of Infamy." I love the change in tempo and rhythm on tracks like "The Pentacle Star" which really add to the bands repertoire of music, but as criminal as this may sound, whilst the vocalist fits the music more than their previous, it is still the vocalist that may hinder Eidolon's assault on the heavy metal zenith. That said, the power songs are monsters and really catchy although there is something ultimately familiar in the albums linings after a few listens.

Eidolon have always been serious in what they do and they have a disconsolate edge that is not present in power metal today. Their doomier songs with titles like "Scarred" and "Life In Agony" are a wonderful egress to today's "Here's Another Happy Power Metal Song." To top it off - Eidolon wreak havoc with a 19 minute power metal epic called "Within The Gates" - so many influences in this epic piece from Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Annihilator, and Iced Earth (remember their "Dante's Inferno" track? Wow). The song is not only marvellous but it is testament to one of the hardest working bands out there to keep their material fresh and interesting and in the minds of metalheads everywhere. The band work hard at promoting their metal and they give it all back to the listeners with hard fought and hard played metal.

There appears to be a resolve within Eidolon to create heavy intriguing albums and they have succeeded once more. Whilst it remains to be seen, I still believe they will limit themselves with Mulock as vocalist but with an album that attacks as much as this one does there is no reason why Eidolon can't continue to develop. Heavy ... so heavy. :)

Similar To: Megadeth, King Diamond, Iced Earth, Gamma Ray

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Nemesis / Coma Nation / Scarred / The Pentacle Star / Lost Voyage / Hunt You Down / Life In Agony / From Below / A Day Of Infamy / Within The Gates

Pat Mulock - vocals
Glen Drover - guitars
Adrian Robichaud - bass
Shawn Drover - drums

Zero Hour (1996)
Seven Spirits (1998)
Nightmare World (2000)
Hallowed Apparition (2001)
Coma Nation (2002)
Apostles Of Defiance (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin CA

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.eidolon-nightmareworld.com
Hits: 1045
Language: english


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