Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review of "Clarity of Perception" by Concordia

Buy this album

1. Spoon-fed Sheep
2. Surrender
3. White Horse
4. 2-U
5. Eotw
6. The Calling
7. Ghost of You
8. Sorry for Now
9. Edge of the Sky
10. Was It Worth It?
11. Hubris

“Concordia is a fresh, new four-piece hard/alternative rock band that originated in Cleveland, Ohio in late 2011. Concordia is a testament to just how varied and innovative bands in the hard rock spectrum can be. In one sense, this band is a pure driving force of melodic sounds and instrumentals, but they do so in a way that is powerful and adrenaline pumping all the same. I consider them to be a soft, melodic band with the energy and vigor of a metal band. It can be so rare nowadays to find a band with that uplifting “feel good” melodic sound, but with backing edginess and adrenaline that gets your blood flowing in the process.” Concordia has been compared to bands like Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, Chevelle, and Breaking Benjamin.

In 2010, after Eric posted a cover of Ra’s “Broken Hearted Soul” on YouTube, he was amazed to find that one of the first comments on the video was from Sahaj Ticotin, lead singer of RA. It wasn’t long before Eric was on a plane to Sahaj’s studio in LA to record what would eventually become Concordia’s debut album, Clarity of Perception. The album was co-written by Sahaj Ticotin (RA), Dustin Bates (Downplay), and features studio drummer Adrian Ost from the critically acclaimed bands Powerman 5000 and Dope.

Eric Emery talked long-time friends Cory Juba (Guitar) and Nick Smith (Bass) into taking a break from their studies at college and becoming members of Concordia. Eric reached out to local virtuoso Kyle Tresch (Drums) to complete the lineup and provide an interesting musical perspective to the band.

Blending everything from soaring melodic choruses to powerful, heavy chugging riffs, their sound will surely appeal to a wide variety of listeners. With catchy hooks and angst-ridden lyrics, Concordia will likely become a veritable force in the hard-rock arena. Make sure to look for Concordia on the road somewhere near you and check out their debut album, Clarity of Perception.

The album starts with the quite mellow track, “Spoon-fed Sheep.” I like how the piano built up to the guitar. The vocals are really relaxing and there is a great mix of nice piano and bass bits as well as heavier guitar bits. I enjoyed this track and it was a nice introduction for someone who has not listened to the band prior. The next track, “Surrender,” opens on a very catchy riff. All of guitar riffs are amazing with distortion effects to keep a heavy feel.  To keep a more metal concentration there are a few subtle screams, but later on they are more apparent. This is one of my favourite tracks. The mellow acoustic and vocals and heavier bits made for an awesome mix of emotion pulling riffs in “White Horse.” Although Concordia are mellow, I find them great to listen to.

I like the acoustic and bass bits in “2-U,” they sound really groovy and the heavier riffs are done well as well. The mellow break in the middle with the riff and backing bits along with the great vocals was nice. With the catchy riff following it was a great part, especially with the solo. Continuing the very awesome acoustic is “Eotw.” I am not sure what the title means exactly but what I do know is that although it is mellow the whole way through, it still sounds great. Having the acoustic throughout the whole track lets the vocals have time to shine, as they do, and feel so relaxing the whole way through. The riffs on “The Calling” are very badass and the bass lines are great as well. The screams were enjoyable and they add nicely to the cleaner vocal parts. The lead diddles are great and this is definitely another favourite.

Bringing guitars in a very catchy fashion, the way the lead flowed on the mellow bits, is the next track is “Ghost of You.” The bass has some nice parts as well and I think I heard some more screams on this track but you couldn’t tell as they weren’t very loud or apparent over the main vocals. Keeping the catchy leads is “Sorry for Now” and the vocals are amazingly done as well and sound perfect. This track flowed well with its heavier and mellower bits and is possibly another favourite. “Edge of the Sky” had some really awesome acoustic parts. I think the tambourine adds to it and makes it more badass, because tambourines are badass. It is overall a mellower track but still sounds great.

The distorted riff with acoustic diddles accompanying it was really awesome in “Was It Worth It?” I really like the lead tapping riff as well and this track is a great one for the guitarists’ talents. “Hubris” has really old school influences the way it flowed and the heavier lead riffs sound. It quickly goes into acoustic breaks, but the mix of the two made for a great album ending track.

For being a more rock oriented album, I actually enjoyed this album. The vocals from Eric Emery is great and if he is the only one doing vocals, as I am not sure if someone does backing screams, then he has a nice spectrum of vocal talent. He, along with Cory Juba do a great job of tackling the guitar, with a mix of acoustic and heavy riffs which bring even more to the table. Kyle Tresch, as I cannot forget the drummer, does great as well with epic fills. Concordia, although being mainly a rock powered group, can and does have the capability of being a metal band. I think if they added more screams and put more emphasis on their distorted riffs, they would sound even more amazing than they already do.

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