Released January 15th, 2016, Coral Throne is first full-length album by Guelph, Ontario progressive rockers Mandroid Echostar. Expanding and evolving their seven-stringed sound established with their Mandroid Echostar EP and Cidatels Eps, Coral Throne cements Mandroid Echostar as one of the most promising and impressive progressive metal bands in the scene today.
If you’re a fan of stellar guitar riffs and technical solos, Coral Throne is definitely going to interest you. The ME sound established on those previous releases could definitely be defined as a happier kind of progressive metal, focusing on melodies in major scales and featuring clean vocals. That signature sound can still be found here, but Coral Throne feels so much heavier than those other releases, with songs like “Hypnos” and “Iron Hands” having some thrash-inspired riffs.
The three seven-stringed guitarists Stephen Richards, Sam Pattison, and James Krul have really outdone themselves with the guitar parts on Coral Throne. Vocalist Michael “Cheech” Ciccia delivers an incredible vocal performance on the tracks, with his melodic voice perfectly accentuating the music. Adam Richards and Matt HK form the rhythmic backbone of the album and keep the songs on track but also have their time to shine, coming in clearly through the mix. The heavier sound of this album can definitely be attributed to the amazing mix of the album.
But now to talk about the music itself! Coral Throne opens up with “Hypnos,” a five minute journey through epic riffs and melodic solos that quickly touches on melodic themes similar to ones established on previous albums, but wastes no time jumping right into the typical Mandroid Echostar sound. “Fall at the feet of the word,” Cheech belts over some of the heaviest riffs that ME has written to date – so epic!“Hypnos” travels through some epic, technical territory, taking a brief sojourn with some ska-like riffs towards the end of the song, then re-exploding back into the frenetic pace of the earlier portions. What might seem like a strange combination of genres on paper turns out to be a pretty banger song when put together by the boys in ME.
Another standout track for me is the third song, “Matoax.” I had a friend once tell me about the classification of “Dad Metal,” a category that includes songs by Dream Theater and other older metal bands that have pretty straightforward metal songs with driving rhythms. “Matoax” sort of felt like that to me, in a good way! It’s a catchy, bouncy, focused song with a great solo and sections that would be great for audience clap-alongs. When I listen to this song, I imagine myself blaring it on the speakers of a Chevy convertible as I pull into some ‘50s burger diner. But maybe that’s just me…
“Violet Skies” has some massive atmosphere in the chorus sections, with Cheech absolutely killing it over some amazing groove work. The first singles put out by the band, “Paladin” and “Iron Hands,” are great examples of the heavier sound of this album. Richardson’s bass spectacularly stands out on “Midnight Sun.” Honestly, you can listen to any track off of Coral Throne and find something to enjoy. It’s an amazing full-length release from an amazing progressive metal band. Prepare to “Fall at the feet of the world” with Mandroid Echostar’s Coral Throne, available now via their website and iTunes.