Review – ‘While They Were Sleeping’ by Candiria

Candiria are a band with a long and tumultuous history. From its formation in the early nineties starting as a band happy to flirt with the hardcore scenes, mixing it up with both a barked style rap and jazz interludes I always felt Candiria were a band before their time and due to that not fully appreciated for their musical vision. The band has gone through many problems in their career, a road accident whilst touring in the early 2000’s nearly saw their end and the path to both physical and mental health afterwards took quite a toll on many of the band members. Despite the problems over the years Candiria have continued to release some great material which has always been challenging yet undoubtedly rewarding.
With ‘While They Were Sleeping’ the band has taken yet another turn in their career by focusing on the writing of a concept album the tale and delivery of which was the brain child of vocalist Carley Coma. The story tells of a failed musician from New York who rises above the oppression of a monarchistic system.

The album opens with the title track ‘While They Were Sleeping’ and will please older fans and new alike as it twists and turns through a variety of riffs and both clean and abrasive vocal styles before the bass and guitar form a walking jazz section towards the end of the tune. It is this juxtaposition of musical styles which really make listening so interesting, as you approach each song you are never quite certain of where the path will take you. ‘Mereya’, the second tune on the album is a favourite of mine already, again the music switches constantly between harsh and clean sections and the mid this time opens up to a vocal led jazz scat section which will instantly put a smile on your face…to other bands this sound like a gimmick section but with Candiria it just flows and seems quite natural.
Despite the constantly changing musical styles, rhythms and tempos the album is strangely accessible, ‘Behind These Walls’, ‘Forgotten’ and ‘The Whole World Will Burn’ offer very melodic and almost anthemic choruses hidden within their depths, the sort that you will find yourself humming well after you have finished listening and will force you to go back for more. The band have also moved from their own comfort zone and produced a slow haunting number in ‘Opaque’, which works perfectly as the mid-point turn in the album.
In summary this album is a writhing sea of riffs and ideas boiled down into a strangely coherent mix of accessible songs. There is something here for almost every listener with aspects of everything they have done in the past but in a more mature and refined way that I hope older fans can forgive them for, I certainly have!
This is a must buy for anyone who enjoys their music to be a journey, one with many twists and turns that will delight and put the listener on edge in equal measure. For fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dog Fashion Disco, Mr Bungle and Cyborg Octopus.
‘While They Were Sleeping’ is available from the 7th of October from Metal Blade Records.

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