Coraxo is one of those bands that ARE different. Too many bands think they offer something new and fresh but they tend to be a rehash of another band (or bands) you’ve heard before. Coraxo are a true progressive metal band in my book. Their debut album “Neptune” mixed old school death metal with hi-tech synths and melody to form a very unique sound. Now, they are back with their follow up “Sol.”
The album starts with a minute intro track “Your Life. Our Future” which is mostly piano driven before it kicks in. Normally, I don’t care for intro tracks but this one sets up the next track perfectly. “Of Stars Reborn” kicks in with old school blast beats and ferocious guitars. For me, they are more one track than two and show both sides of Coraxo. They have very opposing influences and still manage to make these polar opposites blend into who they are as a band/duo. Did I mention that it’s just two guys in this band?
“Of Stars Reborn” even has a sax solo by guest Ilkka Ferm amongst the metallic dirge. Like most things Coraxo does, you think it won’t work and it does. Another great moment is “Helios” with a cool lead synth which leads the way backed by the band’s pounding rhythm. The song reminds me of something Dan Swanö would do (he mastered this album), mixing traditional prog sounds with all out death metal. They remind me a little of Witherscape which is a good thing! “Retrograde” is another brilliant track. The way the band uses an almost sci-fi like synth mixed along side their relentless attack…just amazing.
While vocalist Tomi Toivonen has an incredible and versatile death growl, the clean vocal by Nikke Kuki on “Ascension” just adds a nice dynamic. Another highlight is “Sunlight” which has plenty of melodic guitar riffs along side some of Toivonen’s harshest vocals. “Sacrifices Made” is another proggy death gem. And “Spearhead” is an awesome closer. It’s slower and more methodically destructive.
Coraxo are an interesting band to be sure. They are off to a great start with both of their albums and I think their masterpiece is just around the corner. They have the potential to change the progressive death metal script should they choose to do so. They are bold enough with their experimentation and talented enough to play it. “Sol” is the next chapter in what should be a very interesting book.
1. Your Life. Our Future
2. Of Stars Reborn
9. Sacrifices Made
10. The Chase – In Hiding pt. 1