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Collibus: The False Awakening

Have these British prog metallers made the debut album of the year?

Every week, it seems, there’s a plethora of emerging bands who claim to be prog metal. It’s an easy tag to hijack, isn’t it? Just play metal with a vague idea of technique and dynamics, and voilà! Thankfully though, their debut album proves there’s so much more to Collibus.

Firstly, this British four-piece have Gemma Fox, who has a stunning voice, capable of soaring yet also with an edge. She handles delicacy and punch with equal assurety. Guitarist Stephen Platt offers a vision reminiscent in places of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, but also delves into late 70s moments, inspired by Alex Lifeson and metal’s die-hard masters.

The real clincher here is that, despite their relative inexperience, the band already know how to marry instant tunefulness to their elaborate, sophisticated arrangements, and all with a mighty clout. Leave It All Behind, Break The Silence and The Hunted show what the band are truly capable of, and highlight Collibus’ fast-emerging promise.

In fact, The False Awakening will be seen as one of the year’s best debut albums. It’s a work that points the way to a future where they’re regarded as one of the master prog metal bands of the era.