Candiria - 300 Percent Density
Century Media
Progressive Metal, Avant-Garde
11 songs (1:04:39)
Release year: 2001
Century Media
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

One of those awesome little cult bands that hardly anyone knows about, New Yorkers Candiria have carved out an underground niche for themselves as an unsteady bastion of experimental music. Taking influence from jazz, rap, hardcore, ambient, as well as good ol’ metal, the most obvious comparison to make is to The Dillinger Escape Plan, especially with the ‘core-y barked vocals, but Candiria have their own sound, slightly more rooted in metal than hardcore and more interested in fitting the separate parts of their musical template together than having them clash. Experiments come in the individual sounds themselves rather than the aural overload, being much easier listening than DEP – not that this isn’t heavy, the crunchy riffing and polyrhythmic rhythm section working overtime to form a complex web that can’t help but fascinate. Take Constant Velocity Is As Natural As Being At Rest as an example, something that sounds like a broken-down Meshuggah jamming with a jazz ensemble, technical rhythmic battery interspaced with beautiful melodies that swirl around the heaviness like hummingbirds. It’s a restless, enquiring piece of aggressive music, a dangerous intelligence obvious as the track glides along seemingly at random, picking riffs and motifs and exploring them before dropping them and moving on.

The biggest problem that most will have with this, especially in these parts, are the tracks which dip into hip-hop’s murky waters, fitting in with the album’s flow but hardly what you’d expect to hear from a band that can be as heavy as this. Words From The Lexicon is the only track made solely of these elements, other moments being just one patch on the quilt, and it makes perfect sense in context, as odd as it may sound. By far and away the chief attraction here is the instrumentation, bassist Michael McIvor and drummer Kenneth Schalk especially masters at cranking out the multi-genred wonder. Little curveballs like the funky percussion on Contents Under Pressure add much, but even when just backing up the varied and interesting guitar the bass and drums have a lot to say in their own right. The harder you listen, the more you hear, and the more the complexity of the music reveals itself. Tracks like the opening title track are more than worth it in their own right, piledrivers of experimental riffage that lovingly crush the listener in their dense embrace. That title is quite appropriate; there is a lot going on in this album, and it’s always a pleasure to try and unravel it. Candiria would rather infamously go soft on 2004’s What Doesn’t Kill You after a bad road accident, but those auranauts in search of experimental metal would do well to check their earlier material out, especially this.

Killing Songs :
300 Percent Density, Signs Of Discontent, Constant Velocity Is As Natural As Being At Rest, Channelling Elements, Contents Under Pressure
Goat quoted 85 / 100
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