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Candiria | What Doesnt Kill You | review | metal | Lollipop
What Doesn't Kill You... (Type A)
by Tim Den
Damn this nation has a short attention span, even the "underground." Just three, four years ago, Candiria were poised to become the Next Big Thing after having graced Rolling Stone's "Top 10 Metal Bands" list and signed a lucrative deal with Century Media. However, the "break" never came, the band were reduced to putting out their own records after the "big deal" went belly up, and on Sept. 9th, 2002, they were hit head on by a semi with a drowsy driver.
Thankfully, despite life-threatening injuries, all five of the Candiria crew survived the accident. They each spent the next two years in painful physical therapy - some reconstructing shoulders, some re-learning to walk - and, amazingly, regrouping to continue the band. It's no coincidence that these guys are from Brooklyn. There's just no keeping 'em down. Which is why a long-time fan like me can't help but shed a joyous tear to have them back, no matter how the past four years' worth of drama has mutated their creative output.
Candiria are known for elaborate, six minute songs that combine hip-hop beats, Meshuggah chugs, and Coltrane interludes. And while such piling up of influences made albums like The Process of Self.Development and 300 Percent Density incredible aural experiences, they were obviously not meant to be passively enjoyed. With What Doesn't Kill You..., Candiria have paired down the intellect for a more immediate, some would say "hooky," approach. The result is a more instantaneous experience, even downright accessible at times.
Candiria have never played by anyone's rules but their own. They inserted free jazz trumpet solos into death metal songs and hardcore hip-hop, should you really be surprised that they've evolved once again? Should you really question their intentions with their new, "catchier" approach?
Just cuz the songs are shorter, groove easier, and contain vocal harmonies (I suspect some AutoTune going on) doesn't mean that What Doesn't Kill You... lacks heaviness. "Dead Bury the Dead," "Blood," "1000 Points of Light," and "Vacant" deliver the traditional Candiria pummeling, just in less complex forms, and with half the riffs. Similarly, "9mm Solution" is top-notch Candiria hip-hop, but with three vocalists/verses instead of six. See? Even with a 36-minute album (about half the length of its predecessors) and leaner songwriting, these guys still manage to do tech metal, radio rock, hip-hop, ambient, and prog rock (closer "The Rutherford Experiment" puts Yes to shame) in one breath. Tell me that's not incredible.