Tag Archives: coldrain

Review: Esprit D’Air’s Constellations

One of the things I really enjoy about running UK Scumscene is getting sent records like this. Esprit D’Air are a Japanese metal band based in London who make the sort of music that should be coming from more established J-metal acts like Coldrain and The Gazette. Yet Constellations is only their first long-player and it sounds absolutely enormous.

Esprit D’Air take a broad range of influences into their sound. Constellations sounds like a blend of post hardcore, metalcore and trancecore, meaning you get an album that sounds like Blood Stain Child mixing it up with Girugamesh.

Now if the alarm bells are starting to ring because of the amount of sub-genres listed with the word ‘core’ in the title, then you’ll be pleased to know that while Esprit D’Air love to pound a single-chord riff, there’s enough variety and melody in these songs to keep them engaging. Songs like The Hunter manage to draw from post rock to create a delicate and tuneful middle-eight and there’s so many outstanding guitar solos to choose from that you’re a little spoilt for choice.

As with most metal in this style, Esprit D’Air’s big focus is on massive, stadium-sized anthems and Constellations is wonderfully consistent in delivering them. Starstorm sounds like a future rock club classic in the making, Guiding Light has the sort of sing-a-long quality you’d want from your favourite arena rock band and even when things slow down for penultimate track Reminisce, you’re still treated to an absolute monster of a riff.

While this sort of metal heavily draws from pop music for song structure, Esprit D’Air manage to drop in some nice progressive elements. You often find the first half of any song on Constellations is where you most frequently revisit riffs and melodies, while it’s the second half where things get a little weird. The aforementioned The Hunter does this with its post rock middle eight and Ignition is another track where the final half builds to a wonderful crescendo full of impressive guitar solos. It’s just enough variety to keep Constellations fresh and not as derivative as a lot of Japanese metal releases.

Esprit D’Air’s Constellations is a wonderfully accomplished debut album that’s full of massive anthems that stand toe-to-toe with the more established J-metal acts. The band also manages to add enough of their own love for progressive music and post rock to make the album stand on its own merits. If you like anthemic, sing-a-long pop metal full of massive riffs and soaring vocal melodies then you can certainly rely on Esprit D’Air to become your new favourite band.

8/10

Esprit D’Air’s Constellations is released on the 30th of June 2017 and is available to pre-order from the band’s Bandcamp page right now.

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Live Review: Coldrain at Camden Barfly 31/1/2014

Cytota

Cytota are a very young band with a big sound. The band instantly brought to mind metalcore luminaries like Asking Alexandria, Rise to Remain and Bury Tomorrow and put on a great performance that was incredibly accomplished considering their years.

Unfortunately I couldn’t escape the feeling that I’d seen this band before despite the fact I actually hadn’t. Cytota fall into the trap of being metalcore by numbers. The band have screaming, sung sections, double-bass drumming and breakdowns aplenty, but as we’ve said frequently on this website we’ve heard all of this before. Metalcore is a genre that has run out of steam and more needs to be done by bands like Cytota to add more interesting and unique elements to the existing formula.

But as I’ve already mentioned, these lads are only just beginning their career and there’s plenty of time for them to improve. A promising start.

Coldrain

Before we touch on Coldrain’s performance I need to address some concerns I had with this crowd in particular:

  • The Rising Sun flag is rather offensive to a large majority of Japanese people. Bringing one to a live concert featuring a Japanese band is an extremely bad judgement on your part.
  • If someone is in danger especially at a concert with a prominent mosh pit, don’t just stare at the individual. Alert venue staff as soon as possible.
  • If you’re going to drink, do it responsibly. Strangers don’t want to have to suddenly support you because you are now so drunk your legs can’t hold your own weight.
  • If you’re going to use your phone during a concert, doing so on the edge of a mosh pit is probably not the best idea. What did you think was going to happen?
  • If you want to mosh please consider that other people don’t want to mosh. Swinging your rucksack around your neck is not only inconsiderate to others but also incredibly dangerous to others in the mosh pit. You massive twat.
  • If it isn’t clear already, all these things happened during Coldrain’s performance at the Barfly and it greatly hampered my enjoyment of the evening. This is obviously not the band’s fault but come on people, this is simply out of hand.

    Now, Coldrain; they were good. Despite this being the band’s first appearance on UK soil they commanded the audience in the Barfly like professionals. Vocalist Masato is a compelling individual who towered over the audience, singing and screaming his lungs out. Masato didn’t miss a note throughout the entire performance and his energy was extremely engaging.

    Coldrain have a lot of great songs and tonight proved just how brilliant they are in a live environment. The set highlight had to be ‘Die Tomorrow’ which set the room on fire and sparked the biggest pit of the evening and rightly so. Coldrain deliver massive riffs and even bigger choruses by the bucket load and it was a joy to finally hear them live.

    The band promised to come back for another run of dates in the future, but luckily they’ll be back this summer at the Download Festival. If anthemic metalcore/screamo is your cup of tea then you’ll definitely want to check the band out if you get a chance. Just be a little considerate to your fellow gig-goers in the future. You massive twat.