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What Doesn't Kill You...

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Album Review

Candiria delivers a typically diverse record with What Doesn't Kill You..., which follows a near-tragic accident that mangled the band's tour van (hence the album cover and liner notes). Thankfully, the group doesn't embrace the by now dull formulas of the "metalcore" genre (i.e., Slayer meets Agnostic Front with death vocals), instead dancing around such boundaries with snatches of hip-hop, jazz, and dub — and now, melodic singing and choruses, which punctuate "The Nameless King," "Down," and "Remove Yourself," all a bit of a departure from the band's odd time signatures and chugging math-metal guitars. While the aforementioned tracks try a bit too hard to cross over, they're still memorable, intriguing, and thankfully devoid of any emo drippiness. Elsewhere, the more aggressive tracks ("Blood," "1000 Points of Light") are compelling maelstroms of dissonant riffs, rhythmic divergences, snatches of psychedelic electronics, and Carley Coma's convincing and diverse vocal approach, which varies from rap to hardcore shouts and growls. "9MM Solution" might be too "urban" for those wanting more off-center distorto-riffs, yet the track still makes some sense within the confines of the album. Which is a moot point, considering that longtime Candiria listeners have come to expect such jarring stylistic shifts from song to song — just as they'll be slightly put off by the shameless melodic indulgences of about half the tracks here. Still, What Doesn't Kill You... exhibits a more streamlined and concise version of Candiria's sonic madness, and for that reason the album deserves commendation, considering the fascinating, if somewhat indigestible, thunder of earlier records. [The 2005 edition featured bonus tracks.]


Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Candiria's uniquely sprawling urban fusion sound combined elements of grindcore, funk, hip-hop, and jazz. Formed in Brooklyn, New York, the group originally comprised frontman Carley Coma, guitarists Chris Puma and Eric Matthews, bassist Mike MacIvor, and drummer Ken Schalk, debuting in 1995 with the album Surrealistic Madness. The band later included guitarist John Lamacchia, and Puma was further replaced by guitarist John "Be-Bop" Malonti in time for the follow-up, 1997's Beyond Reasonable Doubt;...
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What Doesn't Kill You..., Candiria
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