COAT OF ARMS - Sun & Satellites [Review]

Release date: January 13, 2013
Genre: Groove/Modern Metal
Label: Self-released

Rating: 8.5/10
Reviewer: Tristan French

As forerunners of metalcore in the Middle-East, Coat of Arms have always maintained an air of individuality over their music. You could always tell a Coat Of Arms track from your average, run-of-the-mill metal band, and their latest metal offering, “Sun and Satellites” seeks to push this dynamic even further.

Receiving production from Diego Farias of the progressive metal band Volumes,  COA have clearly stepped up their game from 2010’s “This is Manslaughter” receiving clearer and tighter production. In short, this record both sounds and feels big, whilst showing how they have clearly matured as musicians and developed a sound all their own.

The album opens with the resinous “Notes & Chords”, clearly displaying that although they may sound cleaner, the band have not lost any of the aggression and ferocity built up on “This is Manslaughter”. Pulsing with ferocity all the way through, this is clearly not a record that will pull any punches.

This moves into the song that most people will have heard in the album previews leading up to the release, “Black Holes.”  If any song serves to outline the band’s new direction, its this one. Providing a main riff so smooth it almost glides, while at the same time offering a punch every so often to make sure we’re awake. The breakdown to this song is probably one of the best that band have offered, sure to have heads banging for rows on end!

A personal favourite of mine from this record is the track “Skies Craved” serving as almost, a “brutally calm” track (excuse the oxymoron but I really can’t think of anything else). The pump to the track kicks in at the verse, driving it forward with each guitar chug, showing axemasters Mohammad Bailouni and Amir Amiro displaying their ability to work in almost perfect unity.

Another standout track from a truly awesome record is closing track “BrundleFly” which pretty much sums up everything about this album. It's heavy and groovy whilst still maintaining an ambient atmosphere, moving so smoothly that it almost glides. Bassist Liam Ruddell takes a key point in the spotlight, sucking us into the groove with a truly flowing bassline.

Honestly, if I was to say everything that I liked about this record, we’d be here for a while, and to be honest, its something that you have to experience for yourself. It's simply a whole new Coat of Arms, maintaining what we loved about the sophomore record with a whole new sound, that has been well worth the wait in development. In short, Coat of Arms are back after a long awaited break, and I for one am glad to see them returned. I offer this album an 8.5 out of 10,  a well deserved rating indeed. Welcome back boys!

Click here to digitally order "Sun & Satellites" via Bandcamp

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