With it’s swelling, heavy hitting guitars and harmonic vocals, Comatose is an interestingly experimental take on alternative prog-rock. This is certainly an exciting time for Secret Eyes and it’s great to see them gaining some momentum after signing up with Tragic Hero records. As a result of their signing, the album contains the kind of ‘studio polishing’ that you might expect from bands that have spent many more years under the watchful eye of a record label. Certainly, Comatose’s main strength is in its impressive vocal range, which relies heavily on processed harmonies. The first minute of the track ‘Ghost Town’ is particularly eerie example of this, and it works brilliantly with the rest of the LP’s melancholic and sombre atmosphere.
Comatose’s opening track ‘Oh Dear’ is the single that will launch this album. It’s a hard hitting melodrama, which speeds along at a break neck pace. With sharp guitars and pounding but muted drums, the song feels like a heavily edited film, which speeds the viewer through its scenes. ‘Oh Dear’ also features a guest appearance from Johnny Craig of SLAVES fame. Even though he doesn’t feature all that much on the track, Craig adds a splash of low vocals to Seth Coopers high, and heavily processed tones. The guitars and drums also blend nicely together to give the song a brighter and less imposing My Chemical Romance sound, which will be familiar to fans of the genre.
Cooper, in a recent interview, gushed that Comatose was a highly personal LP, and he hoped that “(their fans) take something from it, and (that it helped them) get through whatever they were dealing with.” Comatose is, in this way, truly heartfelt, with all the lyrical heartbreak, tortured feelings and sadness that you would expect. This album is certainly a dramatic, and wears its heart squarely on its sleeve lyrically.
Comatose is instrumentally and vocally immersive, but lacks somewhat in its rhythmic punch; it just feels like the drums could be slightly more hard hitting. On the whole however this is a sombre, yet touchingly personal effort from a band that are now enjoying increased exposure. Truly though it is Coopers vocal-dreaminess that catapults this LP into the realms of success. His smooth, buttery vocals are processed just enough to make him sound strangely ethereal; which works brilliantly with the jagged guitar and drums.
‘Comatose’ is out now on Tragic Hero records