EIDOLON - "COMA NATION" (METAL BLADE)
Eidolon have released several albums on Metal Blade now. All of them contained excellent guitar work in particular, with amazing riffs. They sounded good, they had good songwriting, but they were all held back by the vocalist. Brain Soulard was, well, um, let's say his particular timbre or whatever didn't go down well with me at all. When push comes to shove, the vocalist should should be damn good (Dio, Geoff Tate, Fabio Leone), pretty decent (most vocalists) or somehow extreme in a way that fits the music (Dani and most black metal vocalists). Soulard was none of these. He was there, in your face, and horrible.
Eidolon have parted ways with their former singer and enlisted Pat Mulock. He is better than a great deal of the singers out there (including Soulard), but he's still too much in your face despite his at times weak and always very similar-sounding vocal melodies. Again, Eidolon have unfortunately managed to enlist a vocalist who manages to hold back the group effort - which is a damn shame because the cool riffs are both copious and cool, and the album as a whole benefits from an excellent production. "Coma Nation", "Hunt You Down" and the mid-tempo "The Pentacle Star" feature more cool riffs each than most modern day rock bands manage to combine on all their albums together. "From Below" sounds downright menacing, and "Within the Gates" is probably the most epically dark metal track I've heard in a while (and it lasts over 18 worthy minutes at that).
I sometimes ask myself: How come I dig Abbath (Immortal), Cronos (Venom), Dani (Cradle of Filth), even Dave Mustaine and James LaBrie, but not, for example, Eidolon's Pat Mulock? I really can't say that I know the answer to that. I have even given thought to the vocalist I'd like to have in Eidolon. Maybe Russell Allen (Symphony X), but then again I'd also like him in Dream Theater :-)
Maybe next time.
Written May 2002
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