Saturday, May 16, 2015

Candiria at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Carley Coma
Candiria formed originally as a technical death metal band in 1992 in Brooklyn, New York. Over time, the band found its own sound by blending elements of metal, hardcore and hip hop with funk, jazz and ambient music. Candiria dubbed its sound "urban fusion." This unusual slant to hardcore and metal was gaining traction when a major traffic accident while on tour in 2002 hospitalized all of the musicians. Critical injuries resulted in a long, painful recovery period for the band. Since then, several members left and some later returned. The band's line-up is presently comprised of vocalist (and sole consistent member) Carley Coma, guitarists John Lamacchia and Eddie Ortiz, bassist Michael MacIvor and drummer Kenneth Schalk. Candiria's seventh and most recent album, Kiss the Lie, was released in 2009.

Candiria came out of hiatus and played its first proper New York show in nearly 10 years at the Black N' Blue Bowl at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom tonight. The theme song to Welcome Back, Kotter played loudly on the public address system as Candiria took the stage, and the fans indeed welcomed back the band. Candiria performed 10 songs from its five middle albums -- curiously, the band performed no songs from the first or last albums. Coma spun and jumped as he barked dryly in near-rap syncopation to eclectic soundscapes. The riffs were hard and heavy and carried the bulk of the songs, but unexpected breakdowns interrupted the melodies with jazz-infused chord progressions. MacIvor played complex bass lines that sometimes took off on their own as Schalk's drumming subtly ventured into brief experimental polyrhythms. Nevertheless, the core of Candiria's set was Coma's meaty vocals and the band's seriously beastly grooves. Somewhere between technical metal and hardcore, Candiria's adventurous set energized the enthusiastic fans to an abundance of moshing and stage diving.