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Final Coil - Convicted Of The Right

Final Coil
Convicted Of The Right
by Robert Amer at 27 May 2020, 7:24 PM

FINAL COIL’s “Convicted Of The Right” is an EP consisting of tracks from the alternative/prog quartet’s two full-length albums. It follows the recent video for the title song, taken from 2019’s “The World We Left Behind For Others,” the band’s second LP. This EP supports the video release and presents previously recorded material in a new live studio setting. “Convicted Of The Right” has a driving, dirge-like quality that fits its subject matter: the inertia of a nation’s militaristic ambitions and the lasting effects training and trauma can have on soldiers.

It begins with a low, metronomic pattern on the guitar in a rhythm fitting for a snare drum beckoning soldiers toward some sort of action: training, fighting, or mourning at a funeral. This rhythmic skeleton animates with the addition of a swelling cello line and hollow arpeggios on a clean guitar until the vocals come in for the verse. The mounting quality of the pre-choruses create a conflicting effect since they are nestled between the more resigned and introspective verses and choruses. This effect depicts the arresting emotions one can regularly face after serving.  A harmonized guitar section leads the track to its conclusion—an unresolved drop-off into a cavernous ambience echoing with sounds of armed combat. The live studio rendering of “Empty Handed” contrasts nicely with the opener and creates an interest-piquing range to the spectrum of the band’s sound. The guitars and chord progressions are reminiscent of heavier PORCUPINE TREE, while the vocal lines establish their own character in the melodies and harmonies. The last two live tracks are taken from the band’s first LP, “Persistence Of Memory,” and both add dimensions to the sound established in the first two songs of the EP. “You Waste My Time” has a building intro like the title track, but takes a different direction. Once the energy of the ensemble is established, it is sustained throughout the verses, the groove-laden interludes, and the defiant outro. “Spider Feet” has the most memorable atmosphere on the EP, oscillating between an eerie, disconcerting spaciness in the verse/pre-chorus and a heavier, more straightforward chorus with lingering traces of the unsettling atmosphere in the vocal harmonies.

Convicted Of The Right” is a well-rounded introduction to the versatile and consistently accessible sound of FINAL COIL. The title track presents the more cinematic scope of their latest LP, while the three live tracks evoke a more visceral effect for both new and acquainted listeners. The intermingling guitar and vocal performances between Phil Stiles and Richard Awdry provide a fresh variety throughout and prevent the listener from falling into lulls of expectation, in addition to the absence of cookie-cutter song structures. This EP is ripe for whetting the appetites of fans who enjoy atmosphere and catchiness, and it also points towards a future filled with potential.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Convicted Of The Right
2. Empty Handed (Live At The Lab)
3. Spider Feet (Live At The Lab)
4. You Waste My Time (Live At The Lab)
Phil Stiles - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar and Lead Guitar
Richard Awdry - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
Jola Stiles - Bass Guitar
Barry French - Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Records


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