Mandroid Echostar Citadels

Mandroid Echostar Citadels
8
Mandroid Echostar have received more than their fair share of comparisons to Coheed and Cambria. Sure, singer Michael Ciccia has the mane and vocal register to match — and the progressive tendencies are there, too — but this Guelph band is decidedly heavier. It's not in a brawn over brains way, similar to how many "metal" bands take the road paved with breakdowns to arrive at dumbed-down aggression. Rather, it's in a highly calculated way that the band take the occasional Periphery-ism — to whose singer Ciccia's voice also bears a resemblance — and use it to balance their highly melodic side.

Following a fitting intro, duelling guitarmony begins "Ancient Arrows," the catchiest track to fall under metaldom this year. The remainder of Citadels gives Protest the Hero's latest a run for its (similarly crowdfunded) money, albeit in a more minimalistic, less bombastic way. It's a near-perfect level of technicality and melody, and although some may find themselves wishing for more heavy parts, as on Mandroid's debut, the hooks that worm their way into your consciousness will argue otherwise. (Independent)