Candiria
Kiss The Lie (Vinyl/Digital)


4.5
superb

Review

by Mark Campbell USER (12 Reviews)
October 12th, 2009 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Your favorite record of 2009 just got told to sit in a corner.

Candiria is a band that have, for the better part of 15 years, been one of New York City's hometown heroes. They were always that band that played any show, any time, anywhere and straight-up tore *** up without a hitch, everytime. With their innovative, highly-technical mishmash of metal, free jazz, rap, and unadulterated hardcore, Candiria set the bar for manic technicality underpinned with thunderous grooves and ball-shaking rhythms that would make Glassjaw's "You Think You're John ***ing Lennon" *** its panties. Albums like Process Of Self-Development and 300 Percent Density are rightfully considered landmark underground classics of technical heavy/experimental music. And yet Candiria is also one of those bands where not only are they criminally neglected and underrated, but seem to be a magnet for all types of ***ed-up happenings. These dudes seriously can NOT catch a break. Just read their Sputnik Bio or their Wikipedia entry to get a handle of just why it must SUCK to be in this band sometimes.

Thankfully one thing that never sucks is their music. Both familiar and quite different from anything Candiria have done before, Kiss The Lie is a true beast of an album, dense and complex, not really catchy in the traditional sense, but strangely compelling. There are no more token jazz or rap tracks, and certainly no more obligatory "Remove Yourself" alt-metal singles, but in terms of melodic/album flow and concept, Candiria - kings of spastic genre-jumping and the epitomy of unpredictability - have never even come close to hinting at putting out something this solid and unified. The result is a record that is arguably the strongest of their career while sounding unlike anything out there right now. And you're not going to "get" it right away. A lot of their older fans will most likely hate it for not being 1 Million Percent Density. Give it a few listens for it to sink in. But oh boy, when it does, step the *** back. Kiss The Lie can be roughly described as retaining some of the newfound melodic sensibilities from What Doesn't Kill You with a newer, alt-metal sound reminiscient of Tool's 10,000 Days (let's be real, what it should have been) making love to Catch 33-era Meshuggah with some of the standard, rhythmic complexity Candiria has been known for.

The Tool influence is quite apparent in opening track, the 6:40 "Icarus Syndrome", beginning with an acapella Arabic-sounding vocal from Coma that builds into a a very Tool-ish undulating bassline, palm-muted riffs and Kenneth Schalk's signature polyrhythmic percussion, suddenly lurching into a behemoth riff and verse, replete with Coma's trademark hardcore bark and rapidly-shifting meters (with some seriously awesome, random double-bass explosions). Just about every instrument is doing its own time-sig thing but with Schalk's controlled drumming it somehow all meets up and sounds cohesive without being a bunch of prog-wank. The bridge/breakdown of the song brings something new to Candiria's bag of tricks - a truly epic prog-rock soundscape with sweet, ringing counterpoint arpeggios and a beautiful, melodic lead courtesy of LaMacchia. This then leads back into the heavy main riff and an expansive, polyrhythmic climax that slowly ebbs and fades into silence, capped by, of all things, a quiet electronica beat - that you then realize had been playing during the whole outro!

Next is "Sirens", what would have been a no-brainer choice for a single. A song that strangely sounds reminiscient of - bear with me - 311, with it's super-smooth verse beat and processed, melodic vocal hook. That comparison is immediately destroyed once the chorus comes in, where Carly brings back his trademark 300 Percent Density-days hardcore shriek with a slithery, paranoid guitar riff and manic drumbeat underpinning the proceedings. The bridge is the truly awesome part of this song, where the song 180's into a spine-chilling, gorgeous melodic hook (am I hearing acoustics in there?!) that will completely slay you at the right volume.

Song like "Sirens" highlights one of Kiss The Lie's best aspects, that being Carley Coma's versatile vocals which go from discordant howls to incredibly smooth melodic crooning, helping to make even the most dissonant parts of this record much more palatable than Candiria's older material while being fresh and interesting. The band is not to be outdone either, with Kenneth Schalk turning in another truly awe-inspiring performance (just listen to the breakdown/bridge of "The Sleeper" or pretty much all of "Icarus Syndrome" and try not to bust one in your boxers) while The MacIvor lays down some of the smoothest melodic low-end you'll listen to in a band this heavy. Truly the least-metal member of the group, his complex, melodic basslines are many times the anchor keeping the band from veering too far into dissonant headbangery. Guitarists LaMacchia and rhythm stand-in Eddie Ortiz (Cattlepress, The Dying Light) lay down the traditional Candiria rhythmic guitar stylings; palm-muted, abstract riffage usually complementing the band's godly rhythm section, but unlike past Candiria records, LaMacchia's lead playing and riffs play a much bigger part in where the songs go.

Nowhere is that more apparent than on "The Sleeper / Thorns For The Dying", one of the big standouts (if not their career zenith) of this record. Starting out with a by-the-numbers main riff (helped immensely by the subtle syncopation and meter changes in what would be a normal 4/4 beat) the song transforms into an almost Smashing Pumpkin-esque, soaring chorus, complete with Carley harmonizing a beautiful melody (that's a girl singing with him btw) on top of the dueling octave chords. The same holds true for late highlight "It Starts With A Splinter, It Ends With A Knife", a song meant for a live show with moshable verses contrasted with a transcendant melodic chorus. Although much of the record is quite heavy, it's the overtly melodic moments that are the biggest (and coincidentally most interesting departures from the Candiria "sound" . "Alicia" is a lovely ambient number, characterised by some smooth improv jazz-blues leads and delicate background harmonics, while wind-chimes and backwards-tracked guitar fade in and out. The stunning "Ascend" showcases more acoustic guitar, keys that could have come straight out of Thrice's "Open Water" along with delicate, flanged-vocals from Carley creating a dreamy, sleepy effect, contrasted with the heavier tone the song takes later. There are contrasts all over this record such as this which only adds to its appeal.

Overall, it's the combination of the fun meathead sections and delicate/beautiful melodic sections that truly make this record memorable, more so than the technically more-demanding, super-aggressive older records. Candiria stepped up massively with melody and as songwriters on Kiss The Lie without resorting to the blatantly grasping-for-mainstream sections that littered What Doesn't Kill You, while raising the bar for their peers and artists to come. And the funniest things about it?

a.) Practically no one has even heard of it
b.) The band only spent something like three weeks writing and recording it
c.) Due to time constraints, most of the material was music meant for LaMacchia's other band (Spylacopa, featuring members of Dillinger Escape Plan and Isis)

If this record could be considered Candiria's "rush job" or "throw some *** together" record, just imagine what they could put out in six months or a whole year! For God's sake, get this ***ing record and spread the word to people that their favorite record of 2009 just got told to sit in a corner.

Kiss The Lie is available for download and on double-vinyl from Rising Pulse Records. Do NOT download the iTunes/Amazon/eMusic 2008 versions, they are NOT the final mix/version!
Vinyl - http://risingpulse.com/store/music.html
MP3 - http://risingpulse.com/store/digitaldownloads.html



Recent reviews by this author
Propagandhi Failed StatesGlassjaw Our Color Green (The Singles)
Bad Religion The Dissent of ManLetlive. Fake History
Bad Rabbits Stick Up KidsNo Use for a Name The Feel Good Record of the Year
user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrizzMatik
October 12th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Out of retirement (LOLZ), comment, give a shit about this, etc.

Willie
Moderator
October 12th 2009


15969 Comments


Good review. I thought these guys broke up. I'll look into this because their older stuff is awesome.

Digging: Necropoli - I

StrizzMatik
October 12th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're basically a studio band right now but two new EPs just came out (remixes/b-sides series, 2 of 4 called Toying With The Insanities). Candiria is only John, Carley and Mike, no second guitar or drummer as of right now. A few of their interviews have said that they will be getting together for some shows in the future though, which would be sick since they're by far one of the best bands I've ever seen live.

Yeah definitely get this, just don't expect their old stuff, it's pretty unlike anything they've done before. Still heavy and teched out though. "Sirens", "Icarus Syndrome", "Sleeper", "It Starts With A Splinter", and "A Rose Dies In Eden" are probably the best songs on here. I have it upped on Mediafire if anyone wants to try before buying, it's hard to find the proper version anywhere but LaMacchia's label.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
October 12th 2009


4950 Comments


i liked 300% density back when i was in high school... so i'll check this out.

what other NYC hardcore records should i check?

StrizzMatik
October 12th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's a bunch but the obvious ones are Madball, Agnostic Front, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today, Vision Of Disorder, Stillsuit, Glassjaw, Quicksand, Bad Brains, Murphy's Law, Sick Of It All, and H20 (early stuff) to name a few.

StrizzMatik
October 12th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Come on people you're starting to suck

TheGreatD17
October 12th 2009


1141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album lacks all the stuff that made some of their earlier music interesting. This is just passable alternative metal.

StrizzMatik
October 12th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Don't quite get that. Schalk's drumming is still ace, Carley's singing is better than ever, the riffs are fantastic and this flows like no other record in Candiria's discography. And it's a lot more memorable of a record than any of their others IMO.

Kashmir09
October 12th 2009


772 Comments


Hell yeah, this review is ace and I definitely wanna check this out. I've been definitely looking for some more complexity in my music as things have become stale and similar of late. Metal mixed with free jazz is always a good thing; great job man

Wizard
October 12th 2009


19395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Your favorite record of 2009 just got told to sit in a corner.

I can't believe this for a second because of this:

Kiss The Lie can be roughly described as retaining some of the newfound melodic sensibilities from What Doesn't Kill You with a newer, alt-metal sound reminiscient of Tool's 10,000 Days (let's be real, what it should have been)

While What Doesn't Kill You... had some standout moments, it was severely plagued by the lack of everything that made 300 Percent Density really shine. Too many muddled alternative moments with some generic rock structures really killed that album for me (no pun intended). And now you mention the inclusion of alt-metal into their sound and that really sounds like they are streamlining their sound even more. I know I haven't heard this yet but I think you're jumping to some conclusions with that statement. I also don't doubt for a second that this album will probably have some damn good moments. Good review but I would sit on this record a bit more and come back to it in a month or two.

Also, will this album be available in cd format?

Digging: Katatonia - Night Is the New Day

Burn2Burn
October 12th 2009


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The alt-metal aspect actually helped the album break away from becoming too streamlined. the album has the gritty tones and production from their older releases, but still has some epic hooks and catchiness from "What Doesn't Kill You...".

Wizard
October 12th 2009


19395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Epic hooks on What Doesn't Kill You? Are we listening to the same record hahahaha. But thank you for that clarification of alt-metal actually helping out their sound on this record. I'm still planning on reviewing 300 Percent Density (4-4.5/5).

Burn2Burn
October 12th 2009


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really? I thought "Remove Yourself", "I Am" and "Remove Yourself" had some great hooks. Unless I'm just misinterpreting what a "hook" is hahah

StrizzMatik
October 13th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

While What Doesn't Kill You... had some standout moments, it was severely plagued by the lack of everything that made 300 Percent Density really shine. Too many muddled alternative moments with some generic rock structures really killed that album for me (no pun intended). And now you mention the inclusion of alt-metal into their sound and that really sounds like they are streamlining their sound even more. I know I haven't heard this yet but I think you're jumping to some conclusions with that statement. I also don't doubt for a second that this album will probably have some damn good moments. Good review but I would sit on this record a bit more and come back to it in a month or two.

I think you got a little confused by my wording. I said it retains SOME of the melodic sensibility of What Doesn't Kill You - meaning melody in general, as Candiria's old stuff had little, if any catchy hooks (not that that's a bad thing). This record sounds NOTHING like What Doesn't Kill You, it's technically been out for almost a year now if you count the unmastered version on iTunes/eMusic and considering this is one of my most-played records all year I'm pretty qualified to make the statement, especially considering you haven't listened to it. If anything, this record is pretty dense and not easy to get into - most DEFINITELY a grower. I said 'alt-metal' because it's not straight metal - it's dark, brooding sludge-metal interspersed with big progressive rock nods towards bands like Tool and Meshuggah with even some Pink Floyd moments in there. Song-wise it's more structured than older Candiria but doesn't come close to the pre-canned stylings of the last one. Candiria is not the same band as they were when 300 Percent Density came out and I'm pretty happy with that. And like I also said, it's not immediately catchy at all, with the exception of possibly "Sirens", so don't go into this expecting What Doesn't Kill You other than the fact that it's more listenable than their pre-WDKY work.

No CD, it's a vinyl/download only release. They have "Icarus Syndrome" streaming on their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/Candiria), go check that out. Also, check your shoutbox ;)

StrizzMatik
October 13th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really? I thought "Remove Yourself", "I Am" and "Remove Yourself" had some great hooks. Unless I'm just misinterpreting what a "hook" is hahah

Yeah seriously, WDKY is probably my least favorite Candiria record but "Remove Yourself" had some GREAT pop hooks, and the songs like "Blood" and "1000 Points Of Light" are still by-the-books Candiria. And I won't even go into how much Carley improved as a vocalist on that record.

Edit: Wow, just got an email from John LaMacchia. Said he and the band loved the review and linked to it on their Twitter. Consider me a drooling fangirl lol

Kashmir09
October 13th 2009


772 Comments


Haha atta boy Strizz, well done my man

StrizzMatik
October 13th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Moar ppl need to listen to this

Wizard
October 13th 2009


19395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really? I thought "Remove Yourself", "I Am" and "Remove Yourself" had some great hooks. Unless I'm just misinterpreting what a "hook" is hahah

They have good hooks but I wouldn't call them 'Epic'.

it's technically been out for almost a year now if you count the unmastered version on iTunes/eMusic and considering this is one of my most-played records all year I'm pretty qualified to make the statement, especially considering you haven't listened to it.

I did not know this bit of information so fair enough to you dude.

StrizzMatik
October 14th 2009


3188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmmm. So apparently Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990.

Burn2Burn
October 14th 2009


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They have good hooks but I wouldn't call them 'Epic'.


Fair enough, but i sing along to those fuckers like there's no tomorrow, so definitely epic in my book haha



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy