New doom/stoner punks Coma are an emerging entity in the Pittsburgh Doom Metal scene. Having released their debut Ep “Saturnalian” back in the yesteryear known as 2018, the band have been busy writing a new album and crushing stages across the tri-state area. With a punishing Ep like “Saturnalian“, its plain as day why Coma will be at this year’s Descendants of Crom Festival……
“Saturnalian” struts a little faster than the modern doom affair, hanging tight around a mid-paced groove throughout most of its entirety. Featuring various influences from pioneers of the genre (Eye Hate God immediately comes to mind) to obscure, yet prominent hardcore names within the late 90’s-early 00’s like Botch or Found Dead Hanging (minus the technical prowess, but packed with that hardcore attitude). Coma pack a heavy punch here and don’t hold much back within the realms of the Ep’s limited run time. The thick bass follows the guitars as they weave in and out of groove and drone laden riffs while the drums swagger with precision underneath the soundscape Coma create. The band make excellent use of lead guitars throughout the album, adding to the ambiance of what Coma is instead of trying to hog the spotlight (no showboating Griffin!!!). The vocals sit in the back, acting as an instrument rather than taking the forefront (listen to the vocals on “Oceanic” by ISIS and you’ll know exactly what I mean). The vocals here are boisterous and gritty, sounding at times like the Kool-Aid Man taking a stab at hardcore vocals. While this may sound awkward, the vocals are well executed with visceral pinash and anguish along with extremely well written and poetic lyrics.
It’s hard to do a track by track breakdown of “Saturnalian”. The album is composed in a manner that tells a story and is meant to be heard from start to finish. Bearing similar parts musically throughout it’s journey, the record displays many highs and lows that push and pull like the tides of the ocean. Dense and full of gloom, “Saturnalian” romps and rages from start to finish unapologetically, only toning it down to build up for the next wave of dense, sludgy metalcore and doom overtones. Make no mistake, this a doom metal album first and foremost, but it proudly wears groove and metalcore on it’s sleeve amongst the duration of it’s 17 minute run time. Production on the album captures the essence of the band: raw and gritty, yet clean and well balanced.
While the tracks on Coma’s “Saturnalian” tend to blend together; it is a damn fine slab of sludge and doom metal for a debut release. The band shows great prowess in songwriting and technical skill that has me hopeful for their future. Once these guys break the mold and find their niche they will more than be a force to be reckoned with. Be sure to catch Coma at this year’s Descendants of Crom at Cattivo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania late September; they are sure to be a promising act to watch hit the stage!