The Polish band Coma are ready to take the next step in their career by releasing their first album completely sung in English. Having started in 1998, guitarist Dominik Witczak and drummer Tomasz Stasiak found Rafal Matuszak (bass guitar) and Wojciech Grenda (guitar) who both shared the same interest in music. Bands like Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are some of their favourites. For the position of a vocalist the band had high expectations of Piotr Rogucki and after the first rehearsal, he was enlisted to be a full member of the band. The first albums - purely for the Polish audience - immediately brought them fame and a loyal following in their own country. Due to personal circumstances, Wojciech Grenda was replaced by Marcin Bobza; in 2008 founding member Tomasz Stasiak had to give up his drum stool to new member Adam Marszalkowski, who also participated insistently in the writing process of the new album. So after the success in their homeland, it's time to conquer the world with Excess.
Excess is the album title as well as the opening song starting with some distorted vocals over a nice guitar melody. As the vocals continue, the slow groove and the riffing give this song a pleasant Pearl Jam drive. Some other songs that have been influenced by bands like Pearl Jam and other grungy bands are Poisonous Plants with a fantastic solo, the over eight minutes lasting ballad T.B.T.R. and the slow epic Eckhart. The latter is a very emotional song and one of the album's highlights. Heavier and more in the vein of Korn or even modern rock are the tracks Transfusion, Witnesses Of The Decline Of The Eternal Boys Land and Struggle, which all have a strong structure, building up from soft to heavy and always having that emotional voice of Piotr that make the songs work so well. When I heard the beginning of Transfusion for the first time I had to laugh, because Dutch people would hear the resemblance with an Idols-artist a few years ago, who is still played on YouTube.
Silence And Fire, Confusion and Afternoons In The Colour Of Lemo are also more epic songs, structured very well; even Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin come to mind here. All band members distinguish themselves by outstanding craftsmanship, great additions to a wonderful album. The two bonus tracks are F.T.P., a real headbanger with grunts, heavy grooving and F.T.M.O., a more relaxed and modern rock song.
I think Coma has done a great job; musically this band is very tight and the instruments are all mixed perfectly during the production. Piotr's vocals are made for this kind of music and I certainly can see why this band is that big in Poland. Yes, there is an accent in his voice sometimes, but I think that gives Excess some extra charm. If this album gets accessible to a wider audience, I think they have potential to become famous.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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