Eidolon Coma Nation

Coma Nation combines power metal and thrash into high-speed artillery comprised of drums and bass, sharp crunchy guitars and new vocalist Pat Mulock's wailing cries. Seldom breaking into growls or softening his vocal assault, Mulock works with the guitar leads to create a cohesive, multi-textured sound, and the entire album comes across as professional and tight. Where things begin to fall apart is within the songs themselves - outstanding songwriting surfaces in a surrounding of derivative riffs; some dated, some just unimaginative. Yet, overall, Eidolon's fifth album is more successful than not. It marks the return of keyboards, which are carefully used to enhance the music's strengths. The album's overall production - crisp, bright and intense - pulls your attention away from any minor flaws in the songs themselves to concentrate on the overarching quality of Eidolon's powerful sound. Eidolon's more inspired qualities culminate in "Within the Gates," Coma Nation's epic closing track. When it's all over, you tend to forget the mediocre and remember only the better moments. (Skyscraper)