Album: A Shade of Red
Band: Coat of Arms
Label: None (Independent)
Release Date: 20 April 2015
Reviewer: Habib T and Kareem C

With a new, different sound, the UAE/Qatar-based industrial/metalcore band Coat of Arms have redefined their musical direction in their third album, A Shade of Red. The successor to 2013's Suns and Satellites boasts 10 tracks and more overtly social lyrical themes.

 A Shade of Red seems to predominantly carry djent influences, most notably those of Periphery, aligned with more metalcore-style vocals and breakdowns. A Shade of Red’s opening track, "Silence the Sensor", was released a little before the rest of the album. It’s no short of groovy riffs and tons of electronic synth and noise to give the track an extra punch. Bailouni’s vocal-range has definitely widened, and listeners familiar to Coat of Arms will recognize his catchy clean vocal melodies in the chorus. Silence the Sensor’s straightforward song structure doesn’t apply across the board though, with some songs such as Trade Lie Census throwing a few curve-balls, which is always good.

The band also demonstrates their softer side, which is evident in the song "Shelter" that is devoid of any growls/screams. In this song, vocalist Mohammad Bailouni exhibits a wonderful range of clean singing accompanied by electronic keyboards and progressive metalcore riffs, along with several djent-like elements. I would call this the most metalcore song of the album (in a good way).

Another track of note is "Never Been Clear", which is the final song on the album. A more djent-inspired track with fierce vocals and fast-pased riffs, it demonstrates the diverse musical elements of Coat of Arms as a band that incorporates several genres. In addition, the drumming is on-point and sets the rhythm of the song. A quiet, ambient interlude occurs towards the second half of the song, accentuating the immersion of the music. It is definitely my favorite track from this album, in a sense that it shows what Coat of Arms is all about.

Overall, it is a solid, powerful album with significant progression from Coat of Arms's previous work. It's a generally wonderfully-written album. A great addition to this year's metal releases from the region.

Score: 7.5/10

You can find Coat of Arms on Bandcamp here and on Facebook here

1 comment:

  1. good old days , what a shame what happened to this band