If you’re a fan of alt-rock mixed with a heavy dose of grunge and progressive undertones then look no further than the current album ‘Persistence of Memory’ from Final Coil. Released on June 23rd 2017 by WormHoleDeath Records, Final Coil have produced an album that has gained acclaim for its darkly atmospheric and ethereal soundscapes that delve into the dark psyche of your brain, mash it up with pulsatingly heavy grunge and then spit you out the other side feeling like you just cleansed your soul. The allure of the sound, the quality of the delivery and the brooding vocals, not to mention the mesmerisingly astute guitar solos will honestly blow you away.
‘Corruption’ kicks off the heavy brooding album with a host of distorted riffs and descending chords and grunge filled vocals that has me liking the album right from the offset. ‘Dying’ has a solemn feel to it with a muted guitar intro and a mournful, broodingly sombre sound that really allows you to feel the core of the song, “I won’t let fear drag me down”. Great track! ‘Alone’ is filled with the same dark undertones, the beat is catchy and a smidgen more up-tempo than the previous two tracks. Vocally it’s not the most diverse I’ve heard but Phil Stiles does have a lulling tone to his voice that keeps you listening regardless.
‘You Waste My Time’ details the pointless people in your life, the ones that waste your time and leave you thinking “I wasted too much time on you”. The track holds the same sombre filled tone from Stiles that I have come to really enjoy, I can chill out with this album quite easily and I love it. The track concludes with distorted backing vocals alongside Stiles’ lead vocals that brings the track to an angry and aggressive conclusion. ‘Myopic’ has a slightly lighter feel to the guitars though maintaining the general overall broodingly heavy feel. Vocally Stile raises the bar slightly and ventures into a slightly higher range which kept the album fresh before lowering back into his signature sombre tone. The drums aren’t as heavy in this track, nor is the bass, and the slightly cleaner feel is a welcome respite.
‘Failed Light’ is by far the most atmospherically immersive track I have heard in a long time. The lulling guitars, the instrumental build of 3 minutes and 45 seconds just pull your mind through the soothing track before the achingly beautiful and calming vocals from Phil Stiles kick in. If nothing else then this album is worth the money just for this track alone. Two thirds of the way into the 10 minute feast of seductive delight and the track takes a slightly heavier line, the guitars becoming more intense, the progressive grunge in full flow and it feels like I might just have an ear-gasm at this point! Hit repeat, for the love of all that is good! I have to listen to that all over again!
‘Spider Feet’ has quite a sinister tone to it, the quicker and repetitive bass and guitar riffs gives off a creepy and intense vibe. The slam of the drums and the slightly raised vocals give an urgency to the track while still maintaining a menacing and ominous tone, the harmonies midway through adding an angelic feel before the drums and heavy bass kick in again for the chorus. ‘Lost Hope’ is beautifully melancholic in its approach, it brings a peaceful solace to the album, the soft mellifluous vocals from Stiles infusing the track with a delicate edge that shows an alluringly powerful and subliminal feel to their music.
‘Moths to the Flame’ takes the album back to its heavy vibe, the lyrical content is less ominous, the guitars of Richard Awdry are in full flow and the light picking near the end of the song brings the track to a soft and simple conclusion. ‘In Silent Reproach’ is a heavy track from the offset. The tone remains the same, heavy and sombre, but by now I feel saturated by this throughout the album, yet it has become somewhat familiar in a good way. The bridge lets up just enough to not bury you in the brooding heaviness of the bass and vocals before plunging you back into the darkness - ‘The years I spent in turmoil, Stripped of all self belief, I trusted you to save me’ - extremely dark content, deeply depressive and full of anguish though beautifully interwoven into the music to deliver the full force of the track and the message that it holds.
‘Alienation’ exudes an alien feel to it when compared to the rest of the album. The use of the keys and the beginning 2/3rds of the track give a sci-fi feel that would go down a storm with Netflix’s Stranger Things series, I can hear it now with its light keys and sinister core echoing throughout the scene as the main characters venture into the upside down (if you haven’t seen it yet it’s well worth a watch). When the heavier bass and drums kick in at around 4 minutes 20 the track takes on a new depth. The track makes an excellent stand alone track as it is stunning in its isolation and as the concluding track to the album it really shows a different side to Final Coil that explores a more hypnotic soundscape than any other track on the album, giving emphasis to the ‘Alienation’ that this track holds over the album as a collective.
For me this album is a journey through sombre, lulling tones of deep souls searching and intense soundscapes that really made me want to keep hitting repeat. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea; it at times can seem so broodingly heavy that it’s borderline depressive and maybe boring to some I imagine, but not to me. Every chord, every riff from Richard Awdry, every strum of the heavy bass from Jola Stiles is just amazing and I really enjoyed every track on the album. My favourite by far is ‘Failed Light’.
You can find out more about Final Coil on the following links:
Final Coil are:
Phil Stiles – Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar
Richard Awdry – Lead Guitars / Backing Vocals
Jola Stiles – Bass Guitar
Tony ‘Ches’ Hughes - Drums
You Waste My Time
Moths to the Flame
In Silent Reproach