Koronal’s debut full-length, Flicker Away, released independently on March 6, shows the band just in the beginning of their exploration and development. I have to admit that I expected somewhat generic progressive metal / djent variation, but the five-piece band from Poland nicely surprised me with their take on Meshuggah-Inspiredp compositions.
“Scarred Protector” opens the debut with sinister guitar riffs and effects that immediately evoke comparison to a child conceived between Behemoth and Meshuggah. Throughout the song, a stream of breakdowns, chugs and (once again) Meshuggah leads made my conclusion about this release cemented. Possibly the biggest remark would be the band borrowing from the aforementioned Swedish band, but it shouldn’t bother one as the Poles deliver a strong message on their own.
“Descendants” shows Koronal beginning to touch on a sound in a different genre spectre, relying a bit more on ambient sound walls, but they still provide heavy groove from earlier. “Awaken,” another favorite, brings a similar mix of hooky, brutal grooves and devastating breakdowns, all accented by punishing production.
There are some incredibly strong moments on Flicker Away. Koronal are capable of creating brutal yet catchy progressive death metal, and are ambitious enough to explore accessible melodies in a genre. I look forward to hearing what else they keep in their arsenal.