I am a fan of music, and music is my life. During my adolescent years, I went through fads, became interested in things, and then dropped those interests only for new ones within weeks. As I have grown, I find that this has not changed completely. However, when I apply this to music, I find myself constantly looking for fresh talent. Here I bring you my review for Comets On Fire. If you are like myself, always searching for a sound that pushes the norms or the boundaries, you need to take a listen to these guys. The main goal of the band was to be free of genre and commercial pretensions. As assumed, their latest album is a clear example of how they have done so. It is nearly impossible to stick them into one class of music. As each track progresses, they build up to a tremendous sound, and then switch it completely around, only to bring it all crashing down into something totally different. You constantly find yourself on the edge of your seat or thinking - “whoa, that was fucking cool.” Ethan Miller’s vocals remind me a little of Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) and the over the top guitar work is very reminiscent of The Mars Volta. The spastic drumming fits so well it is hard to find bands that are able to pull this off as excellent as Comets On Fire has. On top of all of this, they have added a very harmonious electronic sound. This adds a very different aspect to the music. In some cases, it makes the music more chaotic or more atmospheric. The electronic sound enhances the music in these two cases, which also happen to be very polar in their own senses. Once again, this is very hard for most bands to do but Comets On Fire pull it off quite well.
Comets On Fire latest effort Avatar is an outstanding display of clever lyrics and mind blowing technical guitars. There is nothing poppy about this release, which is just the way it was intended. With only seven tracks averaging more then four minutes in length, this is one album that has aimed to please, and successfully done so. The album opens with a very powerful track, “Dogwood Rust”, that is best described as a roller coaster of musical talent. If you are looking for long stretches of brilliant guitar work, this is one song on the album you will find yourself listening to over and over again. As I run through my mind trying to find a similar sound from other bands to compare this track to, I fall back on almost nothing. Originality has been created here. The second track off the album “Jay Bird” is one of my favorites. As expected, the album starts off on a very different direction from the previous track. The song enters with very subtle jazz influenced guitars and with that staple spastic drumming lighting up the background. Enter Ethan’s vocals, which compliment the guitars oh so smoothly. Bring in the electro sound, build it all up, and bring it all down into a powerful ensemble of ear crushing madness.
“Lucifer’s Memory” is one of the slower tracks off the album. They don’t steer too far away from their general direction, but in comparison to the other tracks, this song does not match. Especially in terms of tempo and tone. The song has a very strong Hendrix / Led Zeppelin feel to it. “Sour Smoke” has claimed the spot of my favorite track off the album. Making very little use of vocals, this album is all about the guitar. The band, so to speak, “takes their talent and runs with it.” Avatar is more or less a movie of great music. The final track, “Hatched Upon The Age”, is the final credits to one hell of a cinematic experience.
Good music will always keep my attention, and Comets On Fire have gripped me with a strong hold. Each second evolves as they let their sound alter form. If you have a pulse, you will be more then moved and intrigued by Comets On Fire. If you are looking for a band that cannot be bounded by genres, with lyrics that force you to think, I implore you to add Avatar to your list of must have albums in the near future.