As far as long-awaited returns are concerned, few have been as welcome as the late re-blossoming of Brooklyn’s Candiria.
Hardcore fans are probably bored of trying to convince everyone else that this band are the most criminally overlooked metal band of the last 25 years, and so the fact that While They Were Sleeping is so persistently astonishing will come as a blessed relief. From the first few seconds of the opening title track, this is both an imperious reaffirmation of Candiria’s unique powers and another bold leap forward – something the band have done frequently over the last 24 years.
If there’s a more thrilling song than Mereya released this year, please let us know; this is worth buying for its inspired and infectious opening riff alone. As always, the New Yorkers’ allure lies in their mastery of strange grooves, fluid shifts of pace and style and frontman Carley Coma’s bewildering vocal skill set. Wandering Light encapsulates the quintet’s startling chemistry, as churning brutality morphs seamlessly into a brief, jazz interlude and back again, the whole thing sounding like nothing else on Earth: brave, smart, adventurous and joyously contrary to mainstream metal’s current creative inertia. But then Candiria were this brilliant 20 years ago, too. Wake up, folks: herein lies genius.