Wednesday 28 June 2023

Coma Regalia - The Mirror

Labels: Adorno Records/Dingleberry Records/Hardcore For The Losers/Middle-Man Records/Pundonor Records/Time As A Color/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 10 Mar 2018


1. Return To The Hall Of Souls

2. Slohaugh En Sperata

3. Peel Back The Layers

4. Fragmental

5. The Face Underwater

6. Foreign Reflection

7. Shatter

8. Un Recognition

9. The Lie In The Dark

10. Horrid Reflection

I'm not sure what's been going on lately but the blog's been getting some proper love, for which I'm very grateful. It does feel like a lifetime though since I revisited the ZBR roster. As you'll know from previous posts in this little review series and from before; Coma Regalia has been a mainstay here in recent years. The Mirror was released back in early 2018 on tape and digital formats, as well as on the rarely seen 11" vinyl format (does anybody know of any other records released on 11" vinyl?). At the time of writing this intro, copies of said vinyl record still exist for sale. Will they still be on sale after this review? Who knows...

Havoc-inducing emoviolence with a sensitive side. Probably the most apt way I could describe Coma’s sound without repeating what I’ve said before. The Mirror’s opener ‘Return To The Hall Of Souls’ contains truly biting post-hardcore that lets very little light in, which is at odds with my opening sentence. It bleeds straight into ‘Slohaugh En Sperata’, which kicks off in quick-fire fashion before seemingly slowing down as if time was standing still, only to conclude with wailing feedback.

They say silence is golden but you don’t actually get very much of it here as ‘Peel Back The Layers’ takes all of Coma’s punk sensibilities and applies them to a sub one-minute blast. It’s a rager that drags you into the broodier and more uncomfortable ‘Fragmental’, where once again feedback rules over various parts of the music, except this time in greater amounts.

‘The Face Underwater’ is rhythmic and almost hypnotic initially, before that recognisably melodic guitar tone whisks you off to a better place. Talking of being whisked off to a better place, ‘Foreign Reflection’ keeps up that notion with some beautiful guitar work once again. Having watched some of the performances from this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival, I’d quite happily say that Coma Regalia would wipe the floor with them live if they ever got the chance to perform there (remember the time Napalm Death and Wormrot played inside a graffiti-laden tube train?). 

As the temperature here gets hotter and the atmosphere gets stickier, being greeted by The Mirror’s heaviest song ’Shatter’ is both unfathomable and cleansing. That same atmosphere flows into ‘Un Recognition’, which does contain more treble to brighten things up slightly. This is a body of work that genuinely represents the minds, bodies and souls of it’s creators. You can’t get more life affirming than that. 

Penultimate song ‘The Lie In The Dark’ is upbeat and really skilfully played. Artsy in places without being pretentious, it uses the collective musicianship of Coma Regalia to weave something that’s danceable and forgiving before the album’s final song ‘Horrid Reflection’ takes hold. I’ve always enjoyed releases like this where bands end on longer songs, and this is no different. It’s first half is instrumental and even when the full band kicks in, it still retains that musical heft. At times it sounds like a folk/sea shanty too.

Another tremendous release from a band filled with great souls. Society may be more polarised than ever but music like this will always bring us together.

You can stream and purchase The Mirror directly from Edie's label Middle-Man Records below, where vinyl copies are still available (including one solitary test-press!):-

Coma Regalia -

You can also buy copies from the below labels:-

Adorno Records -

Hardcore For The Losers -

Pundonor Records -

Time As A Color -

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL - / USA -

Dingleberry Records -

Hardcore For The Losers -

Middle-Man Records -

Pundonor Records -

Time As A Color -

Zegema Beach Records -

No comments:

Post a Comment