Cold Night For Alligators
Course Of Events
11th January 2016 – Prime Collective
01. Considering Catastrophe
03. Calculated Accident
Being a long-time fan of an underground band can be a tough job to have. Outside of the obvious binary of either getting weird glances as no one recognises your favourite bands or eyes rolling at your oh-so-casual mentioning that you liked them “before they were cool”, there’s plenty of difficulties you can run into. Course of Events, the debut from Denmark’s Cold Night For Alligators’, presents one such difficulty; a similar conundrum to that which came up when TesseracT released One back in 2011: when a band’s first full length includes, much to their long time fans’ dismay, only a handful of new songs along with previously released material. It’s something to keep in mind when approaching Course of Events - a few of whose songs also appeared but luckily this was my personal introduction to the band so it’s all good on this end.
For those unfamiliar, Cold Night For Alligators play progressive metal, and while they throw in a decent dollop of djent this is no mindless chugfest; plenty of outside influences find their way in, from tech-deathy sweeps and riffing on “Art” and the funky and fun “Inconsistent” to everything from electro and mathcore to blast beats in the epic “Querencia”. When the chug does rear its head, it usually manages to be quite effective and the grooves are, at times, worthy of Austin Powers’ shagpad.
Very noticeable here - and something that’s often missing in similar bands – is an overwhelming sense of passion, especially in the vocals, which is something that comes across even stronger in a live setting. This really solidifies the band’s decision to have new vocalist Johan write his own lyrics and melodies for the older songs, something that could easily bring us back to the TesseracT analogy from the beginning.
Course of Events is a diverse album for what it is. Don‘t expect sudden carnival freak-outs or anything, but the band explore a wide variety of moods without sacrificing consistency or passion in the process – for the most part. A couple of times that passion sadly seems to have been left behind, with a couple of leads and riffs sounding a bit stiff, but this is fortunately the exception to the rule. Overall the album is a gift that keeps giving, with obvious single material like “Followers” to hook you in, and then an album full of songs to dig into for a new favourite every week. After a couple of months with the album, this aspect can definitely be confirmed as the case here.
Are Cold Night For Alligators reinventing the wheel? Not really – but at the same time, it’s hard to think of a band that’s doing the same things and, if there are a few out there, doing it as well. The individual elements of the music may be something you’ve heard before but the way they’ve been weaved together into fresh, intricate and catchy compositions makes Course of Events 2016’s first great album; may there be many more.