False Coda - Secrets & Sins

False Coda Secrets & Sins cover
False Coda
Secrets & Sins
Freia Music
Weirdly enough False Coda returns as part of a long defunct Dutch label that came back after years in the wilderness (and a merger) with a new singer. Their debut a couple of years was a decent attempt at lyrical prog metal.
This sophomore of theirs, is somewhat different, because of the different, somewhat more aggressive and versatile new vocalist that fits their style well. In a way it’s not too dissimilar to a much softer Symphony X of late, without the “big” beefy production, but vocals that try to combine melody with enough well-meant gritty theatricality. Stygma (IV) tried to do that, Tad Morose were ever successful in pulling it off. False Coda, are not “clones” even if they do fall in the mold of “prog” but then again certain passages also bring to mind the prog passages of Conception or even Psychotic Waltz. And still even this description are not fully representative of the band’s identity. I think it’s still in flux, but able to display enough “character”.
If I have qualms about something is about the vocals being a little too upfront and in places, a little less emphasis or a bit more range, would have made them sign. While the presence in the mix is high, clarity and cohesion can vary a bit. The whole sound in fact, on the instrumental side, can sound a bit jaded in an early 90s sense, which is not all that appeasing.
Still songs like “Throne of Blood” and “Moral Compass” are quite impressive. The problem is that after a few more there is a bit of a stylistic repetition and the band is not attempting to blow off some steam until the final song “California” that is really badly sung, both in terms of phrasing and placement, which in an attempt to make a great lasting impression as a conclusion, pretty much does the opposite. A couple of softer, less complicated tunes midway would have made the pacing a lot better.