(Continuing our November series of guest posts, we’re joined today by writer Austin Weber with a review of the new EP from Cold Night For Alligators.)
In the past few years, djent has spread like a tidal wave across the scene, bringing to light many interesting acts. Like the deathcore trend behind it, djent ultimately has over-saturated the scene with bands only interested in playing it as a style, without bringing anything new to the table sonically or from a songwriting perspective.
That being said, releases this year by Periphery, Chimp Spanner, and others have shown it’s not a sinking ship just yet. Another name that should be included among the top tier bands in this sub-genre is Copenhagen, Denmark’s Cold Night For Alligators. They formed in 2008 and released a three song introduction in 2010, Ulterior Motives.
The groundwork for their sound is visible in the influences they claim. One can hear the chopped-up songwriting of Between The Buried And Me, the massive grooves of Meshuggah, and a technical flair a la The Faceless. The end result is captivating, dense music that comes to life in melodic guitar playing.
Now as 2012 rolls to an end, they bring us Singular Patterns, a five-song EP that continues the evolution of the band. Opener “Effervescene” starts ethereally until frantic riffs turn that into melodic overload, at which point it’s abundantly that this isn’t your run of the mill djent. The introduction of clean singing is tastefully done and only appears for a brief instance on two tracks to build up the moment.
The electronic influence returns as well, and is furthered by the integration of dubstep over metal in the introduction of “You Had That Look In Your Eye – Fight Or Flight” and the end of “Effervescence”. It’s only present for 30 seconds between the two, so for haters of dubstep this shouldn’t ruin it for you. More importantly it’s just another way the band smoothly mesh contrasting ideas into their music.
Vibrant piano playing pops up on Singular Patterns as well, sending off “You Had That Look In Your Eye…” and layered over a killer groove on “Aspects”. Instrumental “Clarity” showcases a different side of them, a light jazzy flight complemented by glitchy electronica. When the badass “You Never Cease To Amaze Me” arrives, it does so in epic fashion, soaring guitar-work leading a sung beginning that reaches celestial heights before exploding in melodic spirals of a highly memorable nature.
What separates Cold Night For Alligators from the pack is the genius overlapping of floating intricate guitar melodies amidst the vicious mechanical grooves, a formula Stealing Axion’s Moments used in a similarly brilliant manner. One could argue as to the merits of the singing when compared to that of other groups, as it does come across a tad more emo here. Regardless, I feel it’s very well placed and isn’t overabundant.
Cold Night For Alligators have shaped a strong identity due in part to their excellent songwriting skills, and also as a result of excellent genre mixing. This is a band to invest time in, and keep a watch over for what they come out with next.
Both of the releases are of the pay-what-you-want variety on their Bandcamp:
The band’s Facebook page is here.