300 Density (Century Media)
by Tim Den
After MIA closed its doors, an intense bidding war over Candiria‘s future record label ensued with Century Media emerging as the winner. Smart move, cuz Candiria’s looking like the Great Metal Hope these days. Besides being the only band (aside from Extol) capable of carrying on the brilliance of the early-’90s jazz metal wave (Atheist, Cynic, Believer), Candiria has the power to introduce urbanites to musical realms beyond the simplistic. The mix of their intellectual arrangements with street-wise/borderline-gangster attitude eliminates all boundaries and in the process has won them legions of fans, ranging from jazz freaks to hardcore thugs. It’s the hardcore thugs Candiria will influence most; attracting them with the brutality of the music, then taking their hand and maturing them through closer examination of the brains involved.
300 Percent Density, like ’99’s Process of Self.Development, is the perfect way to get started. Heavier than a dump truck and with more tempo shifts than ever, this is the band’s best sounding record to date. The low end is simply crushing, and the guitar crunch is more defined as the hip-hop drum sound rounds out the peculiar ensemble. Bringing in less jazz than usual and concentrating more on dark hip-hop (“Without Water,” “Words From the Lexicon,” “Advancing Positions”), this disc is definitely dense. Even though they’ve sacrificed some immediacy and catchiness with this approach (with the even crazier time changes), no one’s gonna complain cuz it fucking drops. “Constant Velocity is as Natural as Being at Rest,” by far the record’s most ambitious and realized composition, is enough to shut anyone up. At other times, like the middle section of “The Obvious Destination,” you can only let your jaw drop as the syncopations turn into what sounds like a hive of bees stinging your face. Fuck. These guys can play.
300 Percent Density is gigantic, like the band’s lyrical vocabulary and their energetic stage presence. Candiria is a powerful creature with musical and philosophical dictionaries in its hands. And if you allow it, it will show you how it feels to be bashed over the head with dictionaries, Brooklyn style.
(1453-A 14th St. #324 Santa Monica, CA 90404)