Disclaimer; I haven’t the nearest clue as to who Candiria was before listening to While They Were Sleeping. This is important as I feel I’m shaking an NY sticker padded beehive by throwing my opinion out, and thus implore you to treat the below as an innocent recollection of my experience in dealing with the group’s 8th release, and not as a comparison bound to a reflection on their discography.
Excluding the 4/4 from the party, the album starts at terminal velocity and moves from Meshuggah-ish kick/vocal hammering to swiftly dazzle into jazz sections, soothing after an immensely explosive entry. Then we’re back to the frenzy, and I was not prepared for what I expect others already anticipated. I am really reminded of my first encounter with Sikth, on The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something. The almost comic dualism between blatant insert of genre hops maintains my attention the same way taurine calms a lumo-laced pre-teen suffering from ‘lost-copy-of-Kerrang’ depression. The album continues in such fashion; bashing away with wild rhythms, glided singing and hints of macho hardcore sentiments painting complimentary pauses and builds. Make no mistake, jazz and hardcore make for that (urgh) ‘nu-metal’ feel when the vocals flurry enough, but you don’t get that guilty sensation of ironically enjoying yourself in retroactive pleasure. While They Were Sleeping persuades enough with almost masterful vocal rhythms and melodies, and instrumental work that does not intrude in forced technicality. Yes, there are cringey hooks in “Ten Thousand Tears”, and reincarnations of 2000-esque chorus melodies do appear in breaths, but discarding this album in light of slight flinch would leave you out of the joyride Candiria have created. The uptuned, ‘wholesome’ feel to the writing behind Carley Coma’s singing, spitting, and crooning makes – again, in the case of a new listener – a wonderful escape of conditioned listening habits and expectations.
Where was I to have missed these guys during the days of hacked hard-drive exchanges and internet-less, musical soirees. While They Were Sleeping seems to use the wrong bloody pronoun in my case. I remember during the formative days of Hacktivist, defending them on the reemerged rap metal approach, claiming that their use was of a higher interpretation than that of original rap metal artists. Some comment section counterpart hurled a spearhead suggestion as a link to Candiria, and I didn’t care, in my QWERTY-filled rage, to investigate. As you can imagine, I’m kicking my sordid keyboard warrior self for my ignorance and see now that ‘old-timers’ such as Candiria have and are being slept on; at least with regards to us millennial critters with our MTVs and our raps. Sure, if you’ve been on them since the first album, press backspace and go ruffle some feathers in the comment section on Opeth’s new release. Having this appear in my suggestion space was a blessing, and is exactly what more ignorant young alternative music fans like me need. Candiria stick to their guns, in a metal touched jazz fest that feels warm and familiar (ironically). It may be a slightly weathered sound and approach but they govern it almost godly, and 2016 is the all better for it.