Manchester, UK’s Cotidal have a noble goal. “…pushing metal in as many different directions as possible!” Sound cool, right? Well so does their debut full length Lunar Day, although it falls short of their mission statement.
I found the guitar interplay to be the most enjoyable thing about this release, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me that the two guitarists, Nick Rutter, and Mark Parkinson, were the founding members of this still growing band (as of this writing they’re still looking for a vocalist, according to their Facebook.)
The album is fairly well put together, although the second half resonates a lot more to my taste, being a little heavier. After the intro song, “Are We Breathing” Cotidal dial it back a bit with a three movement arc entitled “Pillars.” While it’s certainly not bad, it is a bit overwrought, and suffers from some poor effects choices and a theme that isn’t all that intriguing.
The potential of this band is shown off very well in two of the later tracks. Both “Saatu” and “Constellations” are very nicely done, even though for the most part they show the two poles of the band. “Saatu” is nice and heavy off the bat, with underlying delicacy and a sense of epicness. “Constellations,” on the other hand, is a more gentle building experience. “Aula,” the final track, is just an all around great song. It stands out from the other tracks in an identifying way.
Production is for the most part able, although sometimes the guitars come off a bit shrill in an unintentional way. The octave effects they use to play higher harmonies on some of the songs annoy my ear. The intention I understand, but the effect itself sound cheap and rinky-dink. Though the bass is underplayed a bit in the mix, I enjoyed it when I sussed out the lines. For the most part the drums are mixed well, with a fairly hefty kick sound when needed, which I liked quite a bit. I would feel remiss in not mentioning the great cover art here, as it is arguably part of “production.”
The potential here is close to realized. These guys mix instrumentations intelligently and write well. I have no clue how a vocalist would make any of this better, so I’m going on record as saying to Cotidal that they don’t need one at all, unless this isn’t the style of music they enjoy playing. I have a feeling if the get to do some more work and a few gigs this band will just get tighter and better. Lunar Day is worth a few listens, if only to glimpse what may come in the future from Cotidal.