Sunflower Dead - C O M A

Sunflower Dead C O M A cover
Sunflower Dead
EMP Label Group
When California based quintet came out with their first two albums, the 2012 self-titled debut “Sunflower Dead”, and the 2015 release “Time to Get Weird”, they established themselves as an up and coming heavy weight band. With their constant touring in support of those albums and their theatrical makeup and stage show they built up their fanbase. With some upheaval in the band, and a new record on the horizon, it was time for a new direction. They ditched their makeup and refocused their sound to match their new look. Their latest effort “C.O.M.A.” reflects this new stripped-down aggressive style.
This 9-track effort starts out with “Let Me In”. Starting out with some crushing guitar work and Michael Del Pizzo singing “There’s an anger in my conscience”, it’s clear that the boys in Sunflower Dead mean business. This song showcases a stripped-down aggressive style that they wanted to achieve. Between Del Pizzo’s growling “Let Me In” and guitarist Jaboo’s fierce solo, this is one strong opening track.
The next song up is also the first single from the album “Victim”. This is one knockout punch of a song. With aggressive lyrics like “this victim is through with you”, strong bass work from Christian Olde Wolbers and drumming from Brian Weir, and of course the guitar work of Jaime Teissiere and Jaboo make sure this song doesn’t hold back a thing. With the attitude that they bring to this song, they make sure you know they aren’t going to be a victim to anyone’s stuff anymore!
The third song is “The Biggest Mistake”. This effort has a nice change of pace with Michael Del Pizzo taking a more melodic approach to the chorus his voice. Yet like the previous songs, there is an undeniable aggressive edge to it.
Opening with a really cool bass lick “Through Fire” is one of my favorites on this album. With well-written lyrics and one hell of a guitar solo this is a killer track.
With the fifth track, “Savior”, Michael Del Pizzo really gets to show his singing chops. He covers the whole spectrum from a melodic approach to a nasty heavy growl. Along with the great singing, the new rhythm section of Sunflower Dead is in full command as well. The bass work and drums drive this song along with an aggressive pace.
Next up is “Kept Down”. This song features a blistering solo by Jaboo. In this reviewer’s opinion, he is a vastly under-rated guitarist. This guy can shred with the best of them!
The next two songs are “Torn in Two” and “Counting All My Failures”. These two continue in the same controlled aggressive fashion that is a common theme throughout the album.
The final song of the album is “Turn Away”. This track has a bluesier feel to it, yet the band still hold onto the aggressive edge that is present throughout the album. Opening the song with some great blues guitar work by both guitarists, this sets the tone for the rest of this effort. Del Pizzo gracefully controls his voice throughout the song. He is definitely dialed into the vibe of the song and wisely restrains himself. His control and restraint make you feel his passion when he hits the more aggressive parts of the song. Again, Jaboo’s guitar work shines on this song. His blistering solo is probably the best on the whole album and there is a nice part where he plays tandem with Jaime Teissiere. This change of pace track is another one of my favorites on this album.
While the guys in Sunflower Dead may have ditched the makeup and the theatrics, they haven’t lost a thing when it comes to making music. If anything, by stripping things down this allowed them to focus on their music and create a stripped-down aggressive album. Now signed to Dave Ellefson’s EMP label, this album is their best effort to date. Producer by Dave Fortman (Slpiknot, Evanescence), did a great job focusing all the aggression and talent that Sunflower Dead brought to the project, and helped to mold it into a great album. With “C.O.M.A.”, Sunflower Dead has shown growth not only in performance, but in songwriting as well.