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Final Coil - The World We Left Behind For Others

Final Coil
The World We Left Behind For Others
by Jack Harding at 05 June 2019, 3:06 AM

Ahh… the joys of Prog music. You either think it’s an important genre, that takes artistic risks to form wonderfully complex, yet somehow intuitive, compositions that blend multiple genres in a kaleidoscopic rhapsody, or you think it's pretentious nonsense. As someone raised on RUSH, coddled on OPETH, and educated on PLINI, it’s safe to say my allegiances lie squarely in the pro-prog camp. However, I’ve always understood this label of ‘pretentious nonsense’, although I’d argue only bad prog bands are this. FINAL COIL however, flit between moments of pretension to moments of euphorically individual, and damn catchy, Prog at its finest. This mood changes so rapidly, and inconsistently, that while "The World We Left Behind For Others" has some stunning tracks, it prevents itself from being considered a classic.

"Keeping Going" is an example of the moments of brilliance FINAL COIL are capable of. With an intro ripped straight from a TOOL album, with wonderful interplay between the bass, guitars and drums. Each part complements the other and grooves with such effortlessness. Rhythmic, distorted guitar chugs then come in to expand this groove further, emphasizing and accenting  different beats, fully developing the idea. The only real problem I have with this song is a real cliche within Progressive music of any kind: The vocals. Whilst the singing is perfectly adequate, there just are no memorable melodies here. Every vocal line sounds so damn monotonous, starkly contrasting with the richness and variety of FINAL COIL’s best riffs to a negative effect.

Another example of a song suffering from poor vocal melodies, as well as other prog cliches, is the title track, "The World We Left Behind For Others." Monotony is taken to ridiculous extremes here, and it almost sounds as if the singer is putting on a voice. It’s as if they thought they didn’t sound enough like a rock star, so they decided to implement some corny sounding, 30 packs of cigs and 1 bottle of whiskey a day rock voice. The poor vocals here are unfortunately not the only cliche adhered to. For example, WHY THE HELL IS THIS SONG TEN MINUTES LONG?!?!?!?!?!?! I love long songs, don’t get me wrong, "2112" changed my life after all, but there needs to be a purpose for a song to be that long. You actually need ten minutes worth of ideas to make a ten minute song! You can’t just stretch a three minute song out relentlessly and just hope for the best! The intro essentially last two minutes 25 seconds, and hardly develops at all. Just the same eight bars repeated and repeated and repeated again! The boredom is unreal. The shade of beige on my walls was more captivating to me than this vain, elongation. Just because your songs are ten minutes or longer, doesn’t automatically make you Prog.

Another Prog cliche for you to tick off of your cliche bingo card, is the use of pointless album filler tracks, under the guise of ‘narrative’. A perfect example of this is with the two, obviously connected songs "One More Drink…" and "…And I’ll Leave." Before I start again with the criticism, know that "…And I’ll Leave" could be one of my favourites on this record. Hard Rock done right, with insanely groovy riffing and an excellent bridge perfect for moshing. Its intro track "One More Drink…" however? Not so great. In itself "One More Drink…" is effective enough. Subtle electronic drums and sound design create an effectively eerie atmosphere. This never really develops though, and in the end the track just fades out in such a way that the impact from the abrupt start of "‘…And I’ll Leave" is simply desecrated.

This is a totally functional record, however everything seems so weighed down by this notion of being a ‘Prog Band’. When they allow the Progressive edge to come naturally, it’s fantastic. With elements of TOOL, LEPROUS, DREAM THEATER among others, there is some real talent on display here. What FINAL COIL need is to simply tone down the self-indulgence. If they do that, FINAL COIL could go somewhere great, but until then, a seven will have to do.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Ash’s
2. The Last Battle
3. Scattered Dust
4. Take Me For A Walk
5. Empty Handed
6. Keeping Going
7. Convicted Of The Right
8. Ashes Ashes
9. One More Drink…
10. …And I’ll Leave
11. Imaginary Trip
12. The World We Left Behind For Others
Phil Styles - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Synths and Programming
Richard Awdry - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals and Programming
Jola Stiles - Bass Guitar And Flute
Barry French - Session Drums
Record Label: WormHoledeath Records


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Edited 27 October 2020

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