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Sunflower Dead - COMA

Sunflower Dead
by David Crossbowmen at 18 December 2018, 4:08 PM

Long Beach, California’s SUNFLOWER DEAD have released “COMA” to some befuddling results. “COMA”, out through EMP Label Group, is nine tracks of groovy nu-metal and alternative rock. While SUNFLOWER DEAD have noted that Metallica, Korn, Black Sabbath, among others are bands they enjoy, it is clear that Korn and heavy hitters Disturbed are a direct influence. Down to the vocals sounding every bit like David Draiman of Disturbed. However, vocalist Michael Del Pizzo does stand on his own where there are flashes of greatness. There is a familiar face in bassist Christian Olde Wolbers (ex-Fear Factory) adding to the rumbling. Guitarists Jaboo and Jamie Teissere do a good job of gluing everything together, while drummer Brian Weir keeps it churning along.

Album opener “Let me in” is arguably one of the weaker tracks on the album. There is no urgency from the band as we get a rather lackluster tune. “Victim” picks up the pace dramatically. While Jaboo and Teissere throw down riffs reminiscent of Korn, “Victim” has a monster chorus that draws the listener in. Strongest track on the album easily. “The Biggest Mistake” is another tune that runs at a brisk pace with a kickass solo towards the end of the tune. Again, vocalist Del Pizzo sounds incredibly like David Draiman. “Through Fire” is a groovy number that also stands out. Great lyrics are the star here as they can be interpreted in many ways.

Arriving mid album, we find “Savior”, which is an energetic tune not too different than Powerman 5000. “Kept Down” is a driving and up beat song that comes at a perfect time. Weir does a great job of keeping it all together and in full force. “Torn in Two” is another mid-paced, standard nu-metal song. The silver lining is the catchy chorus; which SUNFLOWER DEAD have a knack for. “Counting All my Failures” is a tune that would have greatly benefited if it were slightly shorter. Again, catchy chorus but rather stagnant in that the song does not really go anywhere. Album closer “Turn Away” is a huge surprise with huge leads and acoustic guitars that are like candy. Somewhat of a ballad, this is also easily one of the stand out tracks. Del Pizzo does an outstanding job vocally. The highlight of the song is the amazing solo as it totally rips.

SUNFLOWER DEAD really are an enigma. Songs “Victim” and “Turn Away” demonstrate that they are able to craft songs that are on the heavier side, melodic, and can grab the listener. COMA is perfect for those wanting to listen to something different. Fans of nu-metal, Disturbed, Korn, Static-X would also be right at home. However, there are just too few shining moments on “COMA” to make it truly exceptional. SUNFLOWER DEAD are not terrible mind you, but rather lack the intangibles that make a band unique.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Let Me In
2. Victim
3. The Biggest Mistake
4. Through Fire
5. Savior
6. Kept Down
7. Torn in Two
8. Counting all my Failures
9. Turn Away
Michael Del Pizzo - Vocals, Accordion, Piano

Jaboo - Lead Guitar

Jamie Teissere - Guitar
Christian Olde Wolbers - Bass

Brian "Brett" Weir - Drums
Record Label: EMP Label Group


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Edited 04 June 2020

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