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The Colony – Smoke & Mirrors

The Colony
Smoke & Mirrors
by Jack Lynch at 25 September 2019, 5:07 PM

I don’t know about the rest of your modern day narcissistic social media surfing clowns, but I like to be surprised. In fact, I’m so masochistic I even like to be surprised and proven wrong at the same time! Sure, it’s a bit odd to hear these days. For instance, I can’t remember the last time someone told me they checked out an album from a band they thought they wouldn’t enjoy, and ultimately turned out liking. Now, I didn’t say “love”, but “like” …at least enough to recommend. “Smoke & Mirrors” from THE COLONY is that sort of album; appearing simple on the outside but packing something much grander under its surface.

I could say I’ve always had a problem with Modern / Alternative Metal bands and their attempts to straddle two different polarities of rock music. There was always this obvious attempt to make the music appear “hard” by inserting heavy sounding riffs into songs that would otherwise just be a MATCHBOX 20 single from the 90’s.  I know I’m way off base on that view, and I’m sure the genre is loaded with bands I don’t know of that are doing some pretty exciting things. I guess I just never understood why you would want to listen to STONE SOUR, when their alter ego SLIPNOT offered so much more ear candy.

But after hearing THE COLONY I think I better understand why they were inspired by both groups.  The band is much heavier than I initially was going to give them credit for and they don’t deserve any negative labeling of a genre I really know nothing about. THE COLONY has more speed, more Melodic and Groove, and its apparent from the start of “On My Own” and “Soul Saviour” that they can infuse some tasty IN FLAMES’esq guitars into their songs, and not in a way that sounds forced or corny. Guitarists Konnar Anderson and Aaron Hobkirk create that sweet harmonizing wave which vocalist Peter Cullen can successfully ride song after song. While the choruses on “Here We Stand”, “Always”, and “Carry On” will come as no surprise in their execution, they are surrounded with just enough power and variability, that the band’s absolute love of Metal shines through to the surface. At first I was on the fence about Cullen’s vocals, but the album closer “Sands of Time” hits an emotional note at its mid-point, in just the right key, at just the right moment, that the song is elevated in a way only a true talent knows how to do.

Of course, there are plenty of moments that are going to feel par the course and that just comes with the territory. Songs are heavy and hard then soft and reflective at pretty much all the same moments. The occasional growl makes its way in from time-to-time with little to no affect. Regardless, good song writing always stands tall among shallows waters and if the tracks weren’t so damn memorable, I’d probably have more negative things to say. Bravo.

THE COLONY have really put together a great collection of songs on “Smoke & Mirrors”. It’s an album I’m sure the band is very proud of and it’s one I would recommend to others. Fans of the band are going to love it and there is no doubt in my mind there is going to be some newcomers. There is enough here worth your attention, and if you’re like me and just flat out skeptical about everything; just know that sometimes you’ll like being proven wrong.

Songwriting: 8
Originality:8
Memorability:9
Production:8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Smoke
2. On My Own
3. Soul Savior
4. The Flood
5. Here We Stand
6. Always
7. Mirrors
8. Carry On
9. Disconnected
10. Sands of Time
Lineup:
Peter Cullen - Vocals
Aaron Hobkirk - Guitars
Konnar Anderson - Guitars
Riki Hobkirk – Drums
George Struthers - Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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